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'My last wish is to see him play for senior team'

Joy knew no bounds in Mumbai-based Harmeet Singh’s residence in Malad (West) as soon as the Indian colts lifted the U-19 Cricket World Cup beating Australia by six wickets in Townsville yesterday.

Harmeet Singh
Great show: Harmeet Singh. Pic/Getty Images

The entire family, which had taken their seats in front of the television set as early as 4.30 in the morning, had some tense hours though. But as the day progressed, they indulged in wild celebrations with friends, relatives and neighbours congratulating the family for their son’s achievement. Dancing to the tunes of popular Hindi numbers was part of celebrations.

Harmeet Singh's father and grandfather Bachittar Singh
Celebrate good times: Harmeet Singh’s father and grandfather Bachittar Singh (purple turban) do a little jig after India defeated Australia by 6 wickets to win the Under-19 World Cup.

Harmeet’s mother, Paramjeet couldn’t keep her emotions in check. “I had a dream last night in which I saw him draping the Indian tricolour and holding the World Cup in his hand. Today, when I saw him on television, it was a dream come true,” said Paramjeet.

Harmeet Singh's Family members
Family members distributed sweets to neighbours to rejoice the moment

The proud mother was not disappointed for Harmeet not getting a wicket yesterday. “Harmeet didn’t get wickets in the final, but his performance in the quarter-final and semi-final stood out. I can’t wait for him to return home,” she said.

hoarding congratulating
Proud of their boy: A hoarding congratulating local boy Harmeet Singh in Malad. Pics/Sundari Iyer

Grandfather Bachittar Singh (75), who has been praying for his grandson even before the tournament started, was mighty pleased. “Nobody in our family has played cricket, but he was dedicated from the very beginning. And his dedication has brought him here. Now my only wish before dying is to see him play for the senior national team,” the septuagenarian told MiD DAY.

Father Jasbir though, didn’t like to indulge in too much celebration saying it’s just the beginning. “Once Dilip Sardesai had told his school (Swami Vivekanand) trustee Yogesh Shah that Harmeet bowls like Bishan Singh Bedi. At that time he was very young. Today when I look back, I feel that it was a great compliment. Even if he can achieve anything close to what Bishan Singh did, we would feel blessed,” Jasbir said.

Harmeet’s Evershine Nagar friend, Amardeep Singh was also proud to be associated with the 18-year-old spinner. “He is younger than us. But we were all scared of facing his deliveries when we played cricket in our colony. Today, watching him on television gives us great pride in saying that I am Harmeet’s friend,” he said.

Coach Dinesh Lad was confident that Harmeet would make it to the senior side in a couple of years. “When I first saw Harmeet, he was only 11years old and was into football. A former Bombay player, Sanjay Patil had recommended his name when I was scouting for my school Swami Vivekanand. His action was similar to Bishan Singh Bedi’s. I am 100 per cent sure that within two years he will play for India,” said Lad. 

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