As the decades fly past, you’ll always find a handful of unlucky cricketers who just haven’t had the right breaks at the right times, even though they had the potential of achieving greatness. Look at the difference between a Vinod Kambli and a Sachin Tendulkar. Look at the difference between Unmukt Chand and Virat Kohli, both U-19 World Cup winning captains. Also look at the example of Ranji Trophy legend Amol Muzumder, who scored 11,167 runs at an average of 48+ over the years, but never played a single match for India.
One such player is Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who has been a shining star in domestic cricket over the past few years, but has only managed to play 3 international games for India thus far. The player is brimming with talent and that’s all out there for everyone to see, but he’s just waiting for the right opportunity once again. Maybe that opportunity is soon approaching.
The 28-year old is a middle-order batsman and off-break bowler hailing from Punjab, and his all-round abilities are ideal for a game such as T20 cricket. He was first picked up in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by Kings XI Punjab in 2012, only to be re-signed by them in 2014 and then signed by Delhi Daredevils in 2018. However, Delhi had their own issues last season and Gurkeerat faced the brunt of it, not getting a single game.
On Tuesday 18th December 2018, the IPL 2019 Auction was held in Jaipur and Gurkeerat would’ve been a happy man after the bidding concluded, being purchased by a fresh franchise for the upcoming 12th season of the Indian Premier League. Royal Challengers Bangalore would’ve been even more delighted as they acquired the services of this player for IPL 2019.
RCB have had issues finding the right team combination over the past 2 years and Gurkeerat could be a vital addition to the squad. Read Scoops had an exclusive interview with the player and spoke to him about his past experiences in the IPL, his preparations for IPL 2019 and his career in general. Keep reading for more…
Gurkeerat Singh Mann social profiles🌐:
GURKEERAT MANN’s Exclusive Interview With Read Scoops:
Q. Gurkeerat, you’ve been around since a while now, making your IPL debut in 2012. Explain the feeling being a part of this tournament since then and even making your debut for India over the years.
“Yeah, it has been a great feeling so far, like it would be for any cricketer. I’ve had the chance of playing for a couple of franchises and also donning the national team jersey. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has not only presented players like me with a huge opportunity, but it has also been a vital learning curve in our careers.”
Q. How did you react to being picked in the auction last week? Did you have any idea that RCB wanted you?
“I honestly had no idea, as I wasn’t contacted by anyone from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). It was obviously a happy reaction, as it would be to be picked by any of the franchises in the IPL. However, there’s all the more responsibility now as I’m joining a squad that has players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in it, so I can’t afford to let them down. Now, it’s my job to give 100% for RCB and repay the trust they have shown by selecting me.”
In IPL 2017, Gurkeerat was unlucky as he wasn’t able to get enough of playing time for his franchise, Kings XI Punjab, having played only two games, where he scored 0 runs and bowled 0 deliveries. IPL 2018 was no better for him, spending the entire season on the bench for Delhi Daredevils as they had quite a few team issues, now renamed to Delhi Capitals.
Gurkeerat has had so many years in the IPL and has even played a couple of match-winning knocks, but has played only 30 IPL games so far. However, IPL 2019 is set to be his best yet. RCB picked him up at the auction for INR 50 lakh – what a grab for them, acquiring this highly talented all-rounder from Punjab.
Q. What about the price? Was it something you were expecting or were you hoping for something more?
“I don’t really care about the price, as long as I’m getting to play. I wasn’t expecting too much from the auction as I didn’t get a single game in IPL 2018 while playing for Delhi Daredevils. The year before that too (IPL 2017), I didn’t get the chance to do anything on the field. The price tag is something that will keep increasing with good cricket, so I will try to keep performing.”
Q. This year, you’ll be looking to record your best IPL season ever. What have been the preparations going into this season?
“Currently, the Ranji Trophy 2018/19 season is on and (344 runs and 1 wicket for Punjab in 2018/19 so far) this is one of the best preparations in the build up to the IPL each year. I also had a good Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. Now, I’ll be working more on my bowling so that there’s more value to bring to the RCB team, as teams usually want players who can contribute in more than one department. Hopefully, IPL 2019 will be a good season for me and the team, where we bring home the trophy!”
Q. Around 8 years since you’ve been playing professionally. What would you consider the best moment or innings of your career so far?
“I took a boundary catch against Pune Warriors India in Match #6 of IPL 2013 for which I was awarded the ‘Catch of the Tournament’ award. That, hands down, has been the best moment of my career so far.”
The catch Mann is talking about here was dubbed ‘The Super’ Mann catch. Take a look:
Q. Moving into the RCB camp, who are the players you’re looking forward to playing with the most?
“Like I mentioned earlier, ABD and Kohli are some of my most favourite players and these are the two I’m most excited to play with, as there’s a lot to learn from them. Every team has a few main players, but these two are next-level and I’ve always wanted to be a part of a team that has such high-quality cricketers in it. Expecting to learn a lot from them.”
Q. RCB has had a poor last two seasons. Do you think a title is possible in IPL 2019?
“Definitely, why not? Everyone wants to win, regardless of the sport or the competition. In the IPL too, each team starts thinking of winning right from the auction itself. Similarly, RCB will be looking to break the jinx in IPL 2019, as we have a very balanced squad this year.”
Q. How long before you don the national team jersey again?
“At the end of the day, it all depends on performance. Selection isn’t in my hands so I just have to focus on my job which is to perform consistently for my teams, and not think about anything else.”
RAPID FIRE with Gurkeerat:
- Favourite cricketer? “Indian – Virat Kohli, International – AB de Villiers. Since I’m an all-rounder, I also love Yuvraj Singh and take a lot of inspiration from him.”
- Favourite team? – “RCB, obviously. Did I really even need to answer that one!?”
- Favourite format of the game? – “Tests. As a cricketer, this is the real challenge and everyone wants to play in whites for their country.”
- What would you be if not a cricketer? – “I would be an actor, as I love acting. If not, I would be a farmer, as that’s the main profession in Punjab.”
- Favourite moment in the IPL so far? – “Catch of the tournament in IPL 2013.”
On behalf of the entire team here at Read Scoops, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Gurkeerat for taking the time out to talk to us, and to wish him the best of luck for the upcoming IPL 2019 tournament as well. Also, we hope to see him back in Indian colours soon!
– Dwayne Fernandes, Read Scoops