Baljeet Kaur was chanting hymns inside the prayer room of her Kharar residence on Monday evening, when the news came. It was as if her prayers had been answered.
Kaur’s 23-year-old son, Arshdeep Singh, had been named in India’s 15 member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup that will be played in Australia next month.
Arshdeep — who displayed exceptional skills in the IPL earlier this year and has since continued to impress as a death over specialist after being picked in the Indian team — was one of the five pacers who made the cut for the T20 World Cup.
His family, who have been heavily invested in the left arm quick’s progress, deemed his selection as a culmination of a roller coaster ride of emotions, which involves a very recent episode of young Arshdeep being trolled heavily online after dropping the catch of Pakistan’s Asif Ali’s during India’s Super 4 clash at the Asia Cup.
“From contributing in India’s win to seeing India lose against Pakistan, Arshdeep has seen a lot in his short India career so far. Such things have taught him a lot, including the importance of always staying positive. To see his name included in the India’s World T20 team is a special moment for Arshdeep as well the whole family, apart from the cricket fans. I was doing my evening prayers when Arshdeep’s name was announced. I also prayed for Arshdeep’s good performance in the upcoming T20 World Cup to help India win the trophy,” said Kaur, while talking to The Indian Express.
Arshdeep, whose father Darshan Singh worked with CISF for more than 25 years, was born in Guna, Madhya Pradesh, in 1999 where his father was posted at that time. The youngster later shifted to Kharar after his father’s transfer and would initially play with the neighbourhood boys before enrolling at coach Jaswant Rai’s academy in 2015. The young left arm quick, who was also a part of the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup winning Indian team in New Zealand, has so far played in 37 IPL matches, claiming a total of 40 wickets including 18scalps in this year’s tournament.
Arshdeep has so far also played in 11 T20Is for India and has claimed 14 wickets. “For every player, playing the World Cup is a dream and we are happy that Arshdeep’s dream has come true. He has always aimed to give his best and help India win and he will be aiming to help India win the trophy once again. Moments like today make one reflect on their past struggles. Arshdeep has struggled a lot — like cycling to the academy in Chandigarh from our Kharar home or spending hours at the academy be it summers or winters. Wins and losses are part of the game and whatever happened earlier this month will only motivate him to do his best always,” said Arshdeep’s father Darshan Singh, who now works as security head with Groz Beckert Asia in Industrial Area, Chandigarh.
While the family could not watch Arshdeep and the India’s U-19 World Cup win in New Zealand in 2018 as their visa got delayed, the definitely want to see their son play in AUstralia later this year in the ICC T20 World Cup. “We missed him and the Indian team winning the ICC U-19 World Cup as our visa got delayed. We have plans to visit Australia this time to watch the Indian team play in the ICC T20 World Cup and hope to see Arshdeep winning for India and holding the Indian flag high,” said Kaur.