Young cricketer Anmolpreet Singh is in the most exciting phase of his life. Next week, the 16-year-old swashbuckling batsman from Patiala will be sharing the dressing room with big-wigs Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh and might cross swords with the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.
Anmolpreet has been selected in the Punjab senior team led by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for the T-20 North Zone cricket tournament for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy be held in Delhi from March 24.
He will possibly be the youngest cricketer to compete in the tournament that will see participation from state teams of Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana.
Anmolpreet, who made his T-20 debut while playing for Patiala in the just concluded Punjab inter-district cricket tournament held in Chandigarh and Mohali, impressed with his batting prowess during two of his innings (60 not out against Mohali, 57 not out against Amritsar).
Talking to the Chandigarh Newsline, Anmolpreet said, “It is a dream come true for me. I have never met Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Gambhir and Sehwag in my life and now will I play with them. I am all charged up for the competition. I am thankful to the Punjab Cricket Association selectors for showing faith in me. I won’t let them down.”
Anmolpreet grabbed the headlines last month when his outstanding season with the Punjab U-19 ended on a high. The Patiala-based opener scored a record-breaking 1154 runs in Cooch Behar U-19 national tournament (most runs by a player in the tournament). Captained by Anmolpreet, Punjab lost the Cooch Behar U-19 final to Mumbai.
Son of former Indian handball player Satwinderpal Singh and now a sub-inspector with the Punjab Police, who is also a recipient of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Award in 2007, scored so heavily, hitting five centuries with an average of 144.25 in the U-19 tournament.
Aggressive and attacking batsman, Anmolpreet who is an ardent fan of Virat Kohli and a student of Modi College in Patiala, sees the upcoming challenge as a golden opportunity to perform well and show his abilities in front of seasoned cricketers.
“I had a great U-19 season for Punjab. I was appreciated and encouraged by everyone after the tournament. I should not be leaving the hard work done mid-way and carry forward the good form in the North Zone T-20 tournament. I had not played any T-20 cricket before and it was during the Punjab inter-district tournament I experienced the shorter format.
It was great going after the bowling like that. I hope the North Zone T-20 outing turns out well too and I hold on to nerves.” Top two teams from the North Zone T-20 tournament then further take part in All India inter-state T-20 tournament.
It is commendable on PCA’s part that a young cricketer like Anmolpreet is being given such an exposure at this level. Praising PCA’s decision of giving the Patiala-lad a chance, Punjab coach and former India pacer Bhupinder Singh Senior said, “Anmolpreet has impressed everyone with his discipline and talent.
He amassed over 1,000 runs in the Cooch Behar U-19 Trophy for Punjab. PCA selectors did a great job by giving a chance to such a young talented cricketer who is in great form. Such an encouragement can work wonders for his confidence and you never know he is playing Ranji Trophy next season. He should look to make most of the opportunity.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines