For most school students, bunking the odd, boring science or history lecture in favour of spending some extra time on the sports field was the ultimate fetish. For Kings XI Punjab's Prabhsimran Singh, it was a cherished reality for most part of secondary school. Even as young as in his school day, most recognized his cricketing talents and allowed him certain liberties in order to aid his sporting career.
"I didn't get a lot of time after school to practice cricket, so the people at school were okay if I came less to school and focused on practicing hard instead," remembers Singh. "My sports teacher had even spoken to the principal saying I wouldn't be able to attend school everyday because of the games. Everyone in the school including the principal was very supportive of this arrangement, I am very thankful to them."
The wicketkeeper-batsman used to attend school only once or twice in the week but whatever he sacrificed in the classroom, he made up by training till late in the night to improve his game. Even his family were extremely supportive, with his uncle building an indoor cricket net for Prabhsimran and elder cousin Anmolpreet Singh to train. The duo even had a personal coach who used to train them in the wee hours of the night.
Prabhsimran repaid everyone's faith in June, 2018 when he scored a blistering 298 off just 301 balls in an U-23 Punjab Inter-District tournament just days after he was overlooked by the Indian U-19 team. "I was optimistic of being selected for that Sri Lanka U-19 tour, but that wasn't weighing on my mind when I scored that 298. I was just playing my natural game," he reiterates.
That knock helped announce the batting prowess of the teen sensation; and come the VIVO Indian Premier League auction, teams were lining up to acquire his services. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab were locked in a three-way bidding war before the team from the North finally signed him.
Right from a young age, everyone from his school teachers to his uncle to his coaches have had a pre-emptive notion of Prabhsimran Singh making it big with his batting prowess. From academic laxities to personalized training sessions, everything was always aligning perfectly for this Punjabi munda who was born to play the gentleman's game.