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From Emulating Anil Kumble’s 10 Wicket-haul to Making it in IPL After Four Trails – Harpreet Brar Finds his Ground

Punja Kings’ win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday was a significant one in many ways. For starters, it gave out a message to Virat Kohli’s team that they are not unbeatable this year, and it also announced the arrival of little-known Punjab player Harpreet Brar, who impressed one and with his all-round skill. The 25-year-old had scored 25 off 17 balls, and then returned with figures of 3-19 to put his side on top.

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Interestingly, he bagged the wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli, who is always a big scalp for any youngster. Apart from that, he also managed to remove AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, which has instantly put him in the spotlight. Many might wonder that this was a flash-in-the-pan performance by Brar, but his age-group cricket stats present a different story.

Early Career

Brar was born in Moga district of Punjab on September 15, 1995. After starting out as a batsman initially, he took a liking to spin. He went on to become a consistent performer in the state’s inter-district competitions as well. Back in 2014, while playing for Ropar, he emulated Anil Kumble’s feat of 10 wickets in an innings, in an U-19 district match against Hoshiarpur. In the match he returned with 15 wickets.

In that competition, Brar, who was also the skipper of the team, bagged 41 wickets in five encounters.

Not only that, prior to this feat, in 2012, he had come tantalizingly close to bagging 10 wickets in an innings. In an U-22 match against Nawanshahr, he had taken nine wickets in an innings.

Struggle

Harpreet’s father is a driver in the Punjab Police, while his mother is a housewife. After not making it to the IPL consistently — Brar also gave trials for Mumbai Indians for two years — he had two career choices, either to joins the forces like his father or move to Canada on Study visa. Former Kings XI Punjab and India cricketer Gurkeerat Singh Mann later helped him get a place in the Mohali district team, from where Harpreet jumped into the Punjab senior team.

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Road in IPL

Despite being a consistent performer throughout his junior years, Brar hasn’t been a regular in Punjab side, let alone the IPL. After giving four trials in seven years, he was finally picked up by Punjab Kings for Rs 20 lakh in 2019. That year too, he played one match, and had struck a 12-ball 20 against Delhi Capitals.

Apart from that, as far as domestic competitions are concerned, he has played four List A matches and 19 T20s. In those, he has picked five and 21 wickets, respectively.

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