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Indian cricketer Harmeet Singh has retired from Indian cricket and moved to the United States to start his new cricket career. Harmeet Singh, who was part of India’s U-19 World Cup 2012 winning squad, has alleged that he was continuously ignored by Mumbai Cricket Association due to which he decided to play for the United States instead.
Left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh has signed a three-year contract with the US’s Major Cricket League. He is going to represent Seattle Thunderbolt in this year’s season. During his domestic career in India, the 28-year-old played 31 First-class games.
He picked 87 wickets at an average of 34.18 and also scored 733 runs at an average of 15.59. Recently, cricketer Unmukt Chand retired from Indian cricket to start his cricket career in the United States.
I Wasn’t Getting To Play For Mumbai, Says Harmeet Singh
Speaking to Times of India, Harmeet Singh revealed the reasons behind moving to the United States to play cricket. The spinner said that he was continuously ignored by his home team Mumbai over the years due to which he had to end his cricket career in India. He also opened about his plans to represent the United States in the future.
“I retired (in July) because I wasn’t getting to play for Mumbai, which is my home team. I’m getting good money to play cricket here, which gives me a sense of security.
“The level of cricket is good too. If you stay in the US for 30 consecutive months, you qualify to play for the US national cricket team. I’ve completed 12 months, so 18 are left. By the beginning of 2023, I should be eligible to play International cricket for the US. By then, I would be 30. For a spinner, that’s prime age,” Harmeet Singh said.
Harmeet Singh also mentioned that he never got enough opportunities from Mumbai to play in domestic tournaments, playing just 9 games in almost a decade.
“I made my debut for Mumbai back in 2009, but never got one full season to prove myself. Still, till 2017, I kept pursuing my dream to play for Mumbai. Basically, in almost a decade, I got to play just nine games for Mumbai. I didn’t even get an opportunity to fail! I was never given a chance to prove myself,” Harmeet Singh further said.
Harmeet Singh Thanks Tripura Cricket For Giving Opportunity To Play For Them
Harmeet Singh also thanked Tripura Cricket for allowing him to play an entire domestic season with them.
“I’m thankful for the chance that Tripura gave me. When I played for them in the 2017- 18 season, I played a full season for the first time in my life. That experience taught me how to keep myself fit throughout the season. Still, as a professional player, there’s no assurance of your spot on the team. If your performance goes down, you can be dropped too. They wanted me to play for them last year, but then I had to live here continuously to qualify to play for the US,” the 28-year-old explained.
Harmeet also recalled how he did not get a chance to play from Mumbai even after returning from the U-19 World Cup 2012 and giving good performances in Irani and Duleep Trophy tournaments.
“After coming back from that World Cup, I played in the Irani and Duleep Trophy tournaments, and picked up four wickets in each game. Still, Mumbai didn’t play me in a Ranji Trophy game just 10 days later! For the next three years, I was ignored consistently.
“This was despite the fact that I had an offer from Anirudh Chaudhary to play for Haryana, but the (MCA) officials assured my father that I would be given chances to play for Mumbai.
Harmeet Singh also feels that Mumbai selectors didn’t have faith in him and only called him for practice games which disappointed him.
“It’s amazing! The national selectors had belief in me, which is why I was being picked for these tournaments, but the Mumbai selectors had no faith in me!
“They would call me for practice matches, in which I would get top batsmen out, and still not get picked. I once even told a selector: ‘Why do you keep calling me for these selection matches when you don’t want to pick me? Please don’t insult and humiliate me like that! If you don’t want to pick me, that’s fine. You want me to be a net bowler, I’m fine with that, but at least don’t give me hope!,” he further asserted.
Lastly, Harmeet Singh also feels that he deserved his chance to represent Mumbai in domestic tournaments.
“None ever gave me a reason why I wasn’t being picked. A few people said that I had attitude problems and disciplinary issues. C’mon, I was just 17 or 18 at that time. Many big players in Indian cricket went astray at that age. Even in the Indian team right now, we all know of a few players who had disciplinary issues in the past. I still deserved to get my chances,” he concluded.
Harmeet Singh is a slow left-arm bowler who represented India during ICC under-19 World Cup 2012. While playing for Tripura in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19, he emerged as the highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets in 8 games. After retiring from India, Harmeet Singh aims for a promising cricket career in the United States.