In yet another real life rags-to-riches tale, son of an LPG delivery man, Rinku Singh, has landed himself a contract with two-time Indian Premier League champions - Kolkata Knight Riders. Though this is not the first time that this 20-year-old from Aligarh has been selected by an IPL franchise, what grabbed eyeballs is that Rinku was bought by KKR at four times his base price of Rs 20 Lakh.
KKR, co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, grabbed him at a price of Rs 80 Lakh after a brief bidding war with Mumbai Indians at IPL 2018 Players Auction held on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru. Last year, Rinku was bought by Kings XI Punjab at his base price of Rs 10 Lakh but he failed to get a chance to play in any of the matches.
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Rinku hails from a humble background with his father Khanchandra earning his family's bread by working as a delivery man with an LPG company. The family lives in a small tin shed home within the company compound and one of is five brothers is an auto-rickshaw driver.
Rinku, who started playing cricket in 2009, gradually climbed up the ladder and made it to the Uttar Pradesh Under-16 team, and then to the U-19 team. Rinku made headlines in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (2014) inter-state ODI tournament when he hammered 206 and 154 runs in two matches.
He was then selected from the state's Ranji Trophy team in 2016. "I also stopped asking him to study and encouraged him to play cricket as his interest lay there," Rinku's father told The Times of India.
Rinku is now inspiring his younger brother, Jeetu Singh, who has also been selected for the state's U-16 team.
In this year's auction, the Kolkata Knight Riders have invested heavily in young talents as they snapped up India U-19 stars Shubman Gill (Rs 1.8 Crore), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (Rs 3.2 Crore) and Shivam Mavi (Rs 3 Crore), along with Apoorv Wankhade (Rs 20 Lakh), Nitish Rana (Rs 3.4 Crore).