New Delhi: When the Indian cricket teams for the tour of Australia were announced on Saturday, many were surprised to see the name of a certain Brainder Singh Sran in the ODI squad. Not many have heard about the young fast bowler, who will rub shoulders with some of the greatest names in cricket.
The 23-year-old Punjab player's selection to the national team is being seen as a reward for his hard work and dedication. But he is lot more than a cricketer. In fact, his story is an astounding narrative on how the sport has once again played that often repeated role of a great leveler to village boys, with dreams and passion.
Born in a farming family in Sisra, he lives in Panniwala - a small village in Haryana. Like any other ordinary Indian boy, he started playing cricket from childhood. But his dream was never to become a cricketer. It was only a past-time.
Sran wanted to become a boxer, and even trained in the celebrated Bhiwani Boxing Club, a stable from where the likes of Vijender Singh emerged to become a household name in India.
It was only after turning 17 that he seriously thought about pursuing cricket. A fortuitous event led to his recognition to become one of the young pace bowlers. While giving trials for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab, he impressed Punjab selectors. And in 2011, he made Punjab debut against Orissa in Ranji Trophy.
He, however, missed the IPL ticket. But four years later, he was picked by now suspended Rajasthan Royals for the 2015 IPl season.
He grew in stature with each match, and managed to establish himself as one of the best left-arm pacers in the country. After picking up 18 wickets in the Ranji Trophy, Sran continued his good form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy too - 14 wickets from six matches so far - thus justifying his selection in the national team.