From giving up broomsticks to smashing five sixes to win for KKR
Before KKR bought him at auction last year, the all-rounder was battling poverty in his hometown and was considering leaving the game to care for his family.
A small two-room dormitory in the storage area of an LPG distribution company near Aligarh Stadium has become the talk of the town. This was the home of Rinku Singh, who became the talk of the world on Sunday as he hit five consecutive sixes in the final to help the Kolkata Knight Riders over the Gujarat Titans.
Rinku Singh was unbeaten in 48 runs from 21 bowls on Sunday when Kolkata appeared to concede just three balls as Rashid Khan scored a hat-trick. Almost everyone gave up, except Rin Kong. He was second behind Shardul Thakur in the last match and was the hero of Ahmedabad on Sunday. IPL has had many amazing comebacks, after all, it is a big theater, but in the 15 seasons, no one has seen anything like Linkong. He became the first batsman to hit five straight sixes in a final and win the game.
Rinku’s father, Khanchandra, delivers LPG cylinders home, one brother drives a motorized tricycle, while the other works at the coaching centre. This is what the IPL dreams of – the rags-to-riches story we hear every now and then. Rinku was snapped up by KKR for Rs 8 million after a bitter battle with the Mumbai Indians, who also appear to be interested in acquiring the all-rounder in the mature player auction in 2022.
The third of five siblings, Rinku has had some rough times. Three years ago, his family incurred a debt of Rs 50 lakh and are struggling to repay it. It was beyond the means of the family earners, and Rinku was not doing well academically – a “ninth failure”, he said. He knows his only chance lies in cricket.
He saved the meager per diem he received representing the UP under-19 team, among other representation fees from cricket. All this goes towards paying down debt. He was in the roster of India’s U19 team two years ago but Rinku failed to qualify for the ICC U19 World Cup.