Imagine you padding up every single day, every single match, you come up with a great performance in almost every match you play and this cycle keeps on going for years and you are still deprived of getting even a smallest of opportunity to play at the highest level, image the mental toughness and mindset required for an athlete to sustain through that phase!
Well, this has been the tragic story of Chattisgarh Ranji Captain Harpreet Singh Bhatia. Harpreet, one of the most prolific run getters in India at present in the domestic circuit has been piling on runs match after match and such has been the fate that he is still warming the bench not getting a single opportunity to showcase his talent at the highest level.
A player who was amongst the top run scorers for India U19 in Australia tour batting at an average of 52.40, a player who notched up a stunning 709 runs in Cooch Behar Trophy which helped him bag U19 Cricketer of the year award , a player with 70 Odd Ranji Matches to his name, a player with a batting average of almost 48.00 in First Class Cricket with a career spanning over one decade, a player who has scored around 9 hundreds with over 2000+ runs in his last 2 seasons at an average of 87.00+, that player does not deserve even a single chance to play India A or Duleep Trophy or find a place for himself in the Central Zone Team?
Also if small states are not that important while considering decisions related to selections, then why make them even play Ranji Trophy at the first place? Are you just making the small states play so bigger states can slaughter them in the Ranji Arena and have fun at their expense by putting up big individual performances or by defeating them by big margins?
Why would small states give their everything when they are noteven being considered for higher level opportunities? If the selections are only to be made from Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Baroda or Saurashtra or any big Ranji teams then why not just keep Ranji Trophy for those states? Because eventually all the players working hard even from small states like Pondicherry, Sikkim, Tripura, Chattisgarh dream of representing their country & if they have the talent and coming up with good performances then why can’t they be given opportunities? Keeping all the politics aside this is a big question which BCCI needs to look upon.
Players like Harpreet, if they would have been born in some other state, could have went on to represent any country but such is the case in India, where so many cricketers like Harpreet are always at the receiving end of selections which just makes life difficult and stressful for professional cricketers.
Harpreet speaking with Bombaynews.in shared “I really don’t have any complaints, I have full faith in selectors that they will be fair and look upon talented performing players from different parts of India. I will keep scoring more and more runs to make things easier for selectors.
Despite going through so much, Harpreet’s reply just won the hearts. Instead of crying and cribbing about it, his reply that he will keep working hard, will keep scoring runs is just inspirational for the fighting and never give up spirit which the big hearted Sardar possesses! We wish Harpreet all the luck