Punjab-born cricketer Simranjit Singh is set to be a part of the Ireland team that will take on India in the upcoming T20 International series at Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin. Singh, more commonly called Simi Singh, has been named in the 14-player squad led by Gary Wilson. The two-match series is scheduled to begin on June 27.
The 31-year-old cricketer, who was born in Bathlana village in Kharar district of Punjab, says that playing against India is the “biggest moment” of his career, according to cricket.com.au.
“From the day I started playing cricket in Mohali, I always used to dream about playing for the Indian team. When I did not get my chance in Punjab cricket, I went to study in Ireland and now to get a chance to play against the Indian team at the same ground, where I used to play and train kids, is the biggest moment of my career,” he was quoted as saying by the publication. Singh, who got Irish citizenship last year, added that he played with Indian cricketers like Yuzvendra Chahal and Siddharth Kaul during his college days in Chandigarh, and so giving them a challenge on the field now “will be special.”
Singh, who made his One Day International debut against New Zealand in May this year, has eight wickets from seven ODIs that he has played so far, and six wickets from four T20Is.
The spinner all-rounder cricketer moved to Ireland in 2005 to pursue a course in hotel management after he failed to get a place in the Under-19 Indian team. He played for a professional club named Malahide in Dublin till 2012. In 2015, he was selected in Leinster Lighting, and got a chance to play alongside renowned players like Kevin O’Brien, John Anderson, and George Dockrell.
“Playing for Leinster Lightning, which also sees the presence of players like Kevin O’Brien, also gives me an opportunity to hone my all-rounder skills,” he said, according to the website.
Singh, who follows in the footsteps of Gurinder Sandhu and Ish Sodhi, two Indian-origin players from Punjab who played for Australia and New Zealand, respectively, now aims to seal a spot in the Ireland team. “I want to cement my place in all three formats with the latest FTP being released and helping Ireland qualify for the T-20 World Cup will also be one of the goals,” he said, the Indian Express reported.