KXIP Batsman Mandeep Singh Dedicating Win to His Late Father is the Most Poignant Story This IPL


KXIP Batsman Mandeep Singh Dedicating Win to His Late Father is the Most Poignant Story This IPL

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

With the IPL in full swing, the spectacle and theatre are reaching the heights that made it so popular in the first place. It’s not just the sporting action, but the human emotions and drama that drives it that makes the tournament such a can’t-miss affair. And in yesterday’s match pitting Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), KXIP batsman Mandeep Singh scripted one of the most poignant stories of this season after dedicating his match-winning knock to his late father, who had died due to an illness back home in India only a few days before the game.

The 28-year-old Singh came out to open KXIP’s innings alongside his captain KL Rahul. Alongside Rahul, and later Chris Gayle, Singh stayed unbeaten for the entirety of the innings, scoring 66 (not out) to give his team a platform for victory. What made his stellar performance even more personally significant for Singh was that his father, 68-year-old Hardev Singh, had passed away due to liver cirrhosis in a Mohali hospital on Friday, 23 October. Though he could not be with his father, due to the IPL taking place in UAE, Mandeep dedicated his innings to his dad. “My father always used to tell me to remain not out in every game… Whether you score 100 or 200, you should be not out,” he said.

Despite a crushing personal loss, Singh was able to put on a display that would have made his father proud. Appreciation posts on social media did not lose sight of this, as the official IPL handle posted a video of Singh celebrating his 50 with the caption “This one’s for you, dad.”

Fans, fellow cricketers, and commentators alike were in agreement that Singh’s fortitude displayed the best qualities of the IPL.

Each year, the IPL brings us the highs and lows of human emotion, and Mandeep Singh just distilled both into a single sublime performance.