Kumar Kartikeya Singh recently made his IPL debut for the Mumbai Indians, and his left-arm spin made quite an impression. His control and versatility were praised by experts. It’s another issue that the youngster had only six months earlier learned himself wrist-pin with the hopes of creating a successful T20 career.
Kartikeya had worked particularly hard to develop the skill of wrist spin in order to be successful in the T20s, according to his childhood coach Sanjay Bharadwaj, who also disclosed the hardships faced by the Mumbai Indians prodigy.
The sacrifices of Kumar Kartikeya Singh
Kumar Kartikeya Singh moved to Delhi from Kanpur at the age of 15 to join a cricket academy. This came after he persuaded his father, a constable in the Pradeshik Armed Constabulary, that his endeavor would not affect the family’s financial status.
He found himself a coach in Sanjay Bhardwaj, who agreed to teach him for free at his academy after hearing about his financial condition.
That, however, was only the beginning of Kartikeya’s difficulties. He still needed to find a way to make money and a place to live. He obtained work as a laborer in a factory near Ghaziabad, which was 80 kilometers away from the academy.
Kumar Kartikeya would travel miles after working all night to save Rs 10 for packets of biscuits. When Bhardwaj learned of his distress, he offered his student a room at his academy, where his cook lived.
“When the cook gave him lunch, Kartikeya began to cry: he hadn’t eaten lunch for a year,” Bhardwaj said. Bhardwaj, whose students include Gautam Gambhir and Amit Mishra, moved Kartikeya to Madhya Pradesh since he wasn’t receiving opportunities in Delhi.
“Whenever he is free, he starts bowling in the nets. Many a time he comes back from matches in Indore late in the night and gets the lights on and spends the next two-three hours in the nets. His obsession has only grown in the last nine years,” Bhardwaj added.
The same obsession got him an IPL contract with Mumbai Indians, as well as a debut cap, in which he bowled Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson in his maiden IPL over.