Indian-origin cricketer Simaranjit Singh aka Simi Singh was picked in the playing XI by Ireland cricket team for the first T20 against India at The Village, Dublin.
Indian-origin cricketer Simaranjit Singh aka Simi Singh was picked in the playing XI by Ireland cricket team for the first T20 against India at The Village, Dublin. The 31-year-old who had represented Punjab at U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels had moved to Ireland after he was overlooked by the selectors for the senior squad. Interestingly, Singh had also played against Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli in age-group cricket while in India. He also played alongside Yuzavendra Chahal in School and was a teammate of India pacer Siddharth Kaul in Punjab’s age-group cricket.
Disappointed by not being selected in Punjab’s senior squad, Simi had moved to Ireland in 2005 for pursuing hotel management. His friend and former teammate Gaurav who was also in Ireland, convinced him to play cricket while completing his studies.
At first, he used to play cricket by paying 5 euros while working at a grocery store. After a year, he started playing for the Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin as a professional. Things were not easy Singh in Ireland either but his ECB Level 2 coaching degree and being a certified personal trainer helped him to stay in the country until he was granted the Irish citizenship in May 2017.
The spin bowling all-rounder holds an impressive domestic cricket record. He recently made his T20I debut against the Netherlands, where he took 3 wickets off 23 runs. While speaking to TOI, Singh that it was a dream come true for him to be a part of Irish National Team. He added that unlike India, there is transparency in the system in Ireland.
Batting first, the Indian cricket team posted a massive score of 208 runs in 20 overs as both the openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored quick half-centuries. Kuldeep Yadav picked up four wickets to complete a comfortable 76-run win for India.
Ireland has played against India only once in T20Is during the 2009 T20 World Cup, where India won by 8 wickets.