'Just give me one chance, it might be my last': RCB's IPL 2024 star breaks down in recalling 'emotional journey' | Crickit

'Just give me one chance, it might be my last': RCB's IPL 2024 star breaks down in recalling 'emotional journey'

May 20, 2024 03:03 PM IST

Swapnil Singh has played a crucial role in RCB's stellar comeback in the second half of IPL 2024

When you look at Royal Challengers Bengaluru's marvellous comeback in the second half of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, you will hear discussions about Virat Kohli continuing with his red-hot form and finding able assistance from the likes of Will Jacks, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, besides Rajat Patidar controlling the middle-order duties and Dinesh Karthik taking over the responsibility in the slog overs. In the bowling department, Mohammed Siraj will get a mention for making a comeback. But amid the stars, there is one name who will always fly under the radar, despite making significant contributions, mostly as an Impact Player.

Swapnil Singh played six matches for RCB in IPL 2024
Swapnil Singh played six matches for RCB in IPL 2024

It was in 2008, in the inaugural season of IPL, when Swapnil Singh was first picked in the auction, by Mumbai Indians. But it took him 16 years to make his debut in the tournament, when he donned the Lucknow Super Giants cap last season under head coach Andy Flower. With the Zimbabwe legend shifting base to RCB, all Swapnil asked for was "one last chance" when he had met Flower at Bengaluru's pre-season trial camp, saying that it might be his "last".

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Speaking to RCB on their official social media handle, the 33-year-old recalled his "emotional journey" in cricket from his debut at the age of 14 for Baroda to being Virat Kohli's roommate on tours during the early days of their career. He later appeared in the IPL auction in 2008, but remained on the bench for MI before being shunted. Eight years later he was picked by the Punjab franchise as well, but failed to make a breakthrough, before returning as a net bowler for LSG, where he pushed his case for a first XI selection. He did make two IPL appearances last year and was confident of being picked in the 2024 auction as well. However, after going unsold initially, he gave up all hope. But he was eventually roped in for his base price of INR 20 lakhs in the accelerated round of the auction.

“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.

As RCB struggled to find the right spin combination through the first half of the season, they turned to Swapnil and he repaid the faith not just with the ball, but also with the bat.

He made his first appearance in RCB's ninth game in the season, against Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he dismissed Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen in the space of five balls in their chase. RCB later entrusted him with powerplay duties over the next four matches. He also put on an economical show against CSK, conceding just 13 runs in two overs while picking up that all-important catch to dismiss MS Dhoni.

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