CHANDIGARH: We have heard about South African cricket team captain AB de Villiers being a versatile genius, a player who can not only tonk fiery fast bowlers out of the ground but was also a national rugby champion, a state-level hockey star, a golfer and a winner on the chess board. Very few Indian sportspersons can even think of matching that, rest aside switching tracks from one sport to another. Fewer still have done it successfully. But, Punjab left-arm fast bowler Brainder Singh Sran is one such gifted sportsperson, who, by his own admission, was once not just another boy pursuing a career in boxing, but was honing his skills at the country’s punching nursery – Bhiwani.
In 2010, Brainder – a cricket buff then – was desperate to make a name for him and participated in Kings XI Punjab’s talent hunt held in Mohali. He impressed one and all with his sharp in-swingers and terrific speed. Though KXIP didn’t happen for him, Brainder had made a mark on many with his talent, including state-level coaches and more importantly, Punjab selectors.
After that it was cricket all the way and he represented Punjab in four first-class matches in the 2011-12 seasons. However, injuries plagued him throughout the last couple of seasons and Brainder was away from the game. He is all set to make a comeback in the upcoming Indian Premier League after Rajasthan Royals snapped him at a base price of Rs 10 lakh at the auction.
“I am really happy with the development. I am all geared up to avail this God-send opportunity,” Barinder said. Talking about what transpired during the off-season, Brainder said he had performed really well during Royals’ trials held in Mumbai last month, which paved the way for his selection. “I did well during the trials and was able to impress one and all, including Rahul Dravid. This is a chance for me to get back into the game,” Brainder added.
Punjab Ranji coach Bhupinder Singh Sr was also effusive in Brainder’s praise. “Had it not been for injuries that he suffered at wrong times, Brainder would have been a regular in our side. He is left-handed and brings the ball into the right-hander at decent pace. That kind of variety and potency is something our team requires. When he played for Punjab in 2011 for the first time, I was convinced that this guy has a big future ahead of him,” Bhupinder reflected.
Brainder has taken 14 wickets in four Ranji Trophy matches and has also played one List A and three T20 games for Punjab.