Ahead of IPL 2023, former India pacer and a member of the IPL 2009 winners Deccan Chargers RP Singh made a rather intriguing revelation.
Speaking on Jio Cinema, the veteran said that Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist had chosen right-arm pacer Harmeet Singh Bansal in the final squad as he believed that he is the team’s lucky mascot.
During the 2009 IPL season, the pacer from Punjab missed majority of the games, but was included in the playing XI for the final few games. In those matches, he could only manage to scalp 3 wickets and it made Singh wonder as to why Gilchrist was so adamant about not dropping the right-arm pacer from the lineup.
“When we talked to the captain and coach about it, they straightaway refused saying, ‘he’s important for the XI’. And why was he important? ‘because he was lucky for us’… Gilchrist told me that! And I was like, ‘this is also a criteria for selection!’” RP Singh recalled.
“We thought that Harmeet had variations, he bowled good. He had limited skills but gave his 100 percent on the ground, and that was important. We were winning so everyone thought it unwise to tinker with the winning combination. But even then, a few of us believed that we could try something different,” he added.
Out of the three wickets which Harmeet took during the tournament, the two wickets had come in the final against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mark Boucher and Rahul Dravid were two significant victims of the then 21-year-old bowler.
He only allowed 23 runs in that game’s finale off of his four overs. Chargers were defending a small total in the final as Harmeet’s spell definitely helped the side.