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WATCH: RCB spinner Swapnil Singh breaks down in tears, says ‘This was my last opportunity’

WATCH: RCB spinner Swapnil Singh breaks down in tears, says ‘This was my last opportunity’

The off-spinner has picked up 6 wickets from 6 matches at an economy of 8.77 in IPL 2024

Left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh, originally picked in the very first IPL auction, began his career with the Mumbai Indians. However, it took the ex-Baroda player 16 years to truly make his mark in the league. Now, at the age of 33, Swapnil has become a crucial player for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), contributing significantly to their stunning six-match winning streak that secured them a spot in the IPL 2024 playoffs. Swapnil had asked coach Andy Flower for a chance with RCB, believing it might be his last opportunity, and now he is living a dream he thought had vanished just a year ago.

Swapnil reflects on his IPL 2024 journey

Swapnil’s cricket journey is remarkable, from debuting for Baroda at 14, sharing a room with Virat Kohli, to being sidelined from his state team, and eventually making his way as a net bowler with Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) before earning a place in RCB’s playing XI. The 33-year-old got emotional recalling the IPL 2024 auction, where he was picked by RCB during the accelerated round. In a heartfelt video shared on RCB’s social media, Swapnil described the auction day and the overwhelming emotions he and his family felt when he was selected by RCB.

“The day of the auction, I was travelling to Dehradun for a Ranji game, and we landed somewhere around 7-8 PM. The last round of IPL auction was going on, and nothing had happened till that time. I frankly thought to myself, it’s done. Thank you. I will play the ongoing season (Ranji), and if needed the next one and call it quits because I do not want to play all my life, ‘Duniya jeetene ke liya aur bhi cheeze hain’, (there are a lot of other things I can do to be successful). I was very disappointed. But when the moment my family called, we broke down. Not many know how much of an emotional journey it was… That was it,” said Swapnil.

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Swapnil Singh’s comeback in IPL

Swapnil made his IPL debut with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2016, claiming MS Dhoni as his maiden wicket. He later moved to Lucknow Super Giants, being picked in the 2023 auction. His journey began with his debut for Baroda at 14 years old. Over the years, he excelled, becoming the highest run-scorer for Baroda in the 2017-18 season with 565 runs in six games, averaging 62.77. In the 2014-15 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Swapnil dismantled Saurashtra’s batting lineup, achieving figures of 6/19, which included wickets of Sheldon Jackson and Indian international Cheteshwar Pujara. In 2021-22, he switched to playing for Uttarakhand in domestic cricket.

Despite his talent, Swapnil found himself benched at LSG as Ravi Bishnoi and others occupied the spinner’s slots in the XI, leading to his release. However, RCB saw his potential and showed faith in the 33-year-old. Swapnil has repaid this faith with stellar performances, becoming an integral part of RCB’s lineup and their successful campaign this season. The off-spinner has picked up 6 wickets from 6 matches at an economy of 8.77 and has supported Karn Sharma incredibly well in RCB’s resurgent run.

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