IPL spot-fixing was my most terrifying experience, says Harmeet Singh
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all about getting exposure to high-profile cricket for a young cricketer, 19-year-old Harmeet Singh ended up experiencing a turn of events that will surely remain etched in his memory for all the wrong reasons. Rajasthan Royals' Harmeet tells SAHIL MALHOTRA about being in a dressing-room riled with controversy following the arrests of three senior teammates, besides the happier highlights of his maiden IPL season.
How did you deal with the troubled days in the IPL following the arrests of some of your teammates?
We were shattered as a team and players. It was really shocking to learn about the involvement of our players in it. The team, however, reacted very strongly to this issue and we regrouped to keep our focus on cricket. As a youngster, it was a very terrifying experience for me.
What did Dravid and Paddy Upton say to hold the team together?
Rahul had already experienced a similar situation when he was with India in 2000. He told us to keep our focus on cricket, and stay strong. We lost our first game after this incident, and the team decided to move to Jaipur for three days. Paddy Upton did a lot of mental conditioning work with the team with some amazing team-building activities. All the activities were off cricket. Those were great learning days. We were prepared for the tie against Mumbai Indians, but somehow finished on the losing side.
You went for a lot of runs in the only game you played. What went wrong?
Firstly, it was a big moment for me when Rahul told me that I will bowl the first over of the innings. The first over went well, but the second one was expensive. I was not short of confidence after that and even Rahul kept encouraging me to finish strong. I did that and didn't concede much in the remaining two.