Instead, he was hauled up in a Delhi hotel, waiting for the BCCI to pass their verdict on him after having been accused by the Sawani report for not reporting bookie approaches in the Indian Premier League. Also read: BCCI slaps life ban on Sreesanth, Chavan; Harmeet Singh 'excused'
Fortunately for Harmeet, he ended up dodging a bullet with the board deciding to close his case citing a lack of evidence.
His alleged link with bookies though is the latest in a series of indiscretions that have dogged Harmeet's young career. It isn't a case of a boy losing his innocence. Also read: I am fully convinced that Sreesanth was part of the fix: Ravi Sawani report
For all the plaudits on the field, his repeated brushes with indiscipline off it have tainted him as a problem-child. Seniors in the Mumbai team have often questioned his cavalier attitude, some even berating him for it. But to no avail. Also read: Pity that Ankeet Chavan has been found guilty: MCA joint secretary
Harmeet, who helped Unmukt Chand's side win the U-19 World Cup last year, came in for flak during the previous edition in New Zealand back in 2010 for his indiscipline, where he was even allegedly pulled up by coach Chandrakant Pandit. Then came the issue regarding a celebration he led after Mumbai won the domestic title by uncorking a bottle of beer on the balcony at the city's Wankhede Stadium. Also read: Trivedi had been approached... but he failed to report: Ravi Sawani report
Still, there is no dearth of backers for Harmeet. Even during the IPL this year, Harmeet had been warned by a couple of senior Mumbai players for the company he was keeping. But he seemed to have turned a blind eye to the advice. His bowling talent has won him rave reviews from experts including Ian Chappell.
The onus is now on Harmeet to brush this episode away and get his act in order once and for all. Dealing with money and fame aside, he could well start with filtering the hangers-on around him.
(Bharat is a principal correspondent based in Mumbai email@example.com