Kings XI Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh paid a moving tribute to his late father Hardev after Punjab secured a convincing eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Monday. Mandeep’s father passed away last Friday.
“This was very special. My father always used to tell me you should remain not out in the game. This one is for him,” said Mandeep, whose unbeaten 56-ball 66 was instrumental in Punjab’s win. “Even if I scored a double hundred or a hundred, he used to ask me, ‘Why did you go out?’.
Loss of a loved one hurts, but what’s more heartbreaking is when one doesn’t get to say a final goodbye. Praying for @mandeeps12, @NitishRana_27 and their families to heal from this tragedy. Hats off for turning up today. Well played.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 24, 2020
Mandeep’s partnership with Chris Gayle (29-ball 51) made light work of KKR’s 150-target. In his knock, which included two sixes and eight fours, Mandeep said, “My role was to score quicker, but I wasn’t comfortable doing it.”
“So I told Rahul, if I play my natural game, I can see this through. So he was okay with me taking my time and he went after the bowling. I just told Chris he should never retire. He is the World Boss. He is too good.”
Last Saturday, a day after losing his father, Mandeep chose to open the innings against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue. However, he could only manage 17 off 14 before being caught off Sandeep Sharma’s bowling.
Gayle the greatest T20 player – Mandeep
Mandeep Singh described Chris Gayle as the “greatest T20 player.”Casing 150 on Monday night, Gayle scored 51 (29b).
“Chris [Gayle] makes the game so easy and I told him that you should never retire. I’ve never seen him struggle, and he’s probably the greatest T20 player ever,” Mandeep said.
Gayle was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his whirlwind knock, his second fifty in five matches.
“Like I said, he should never retire, he’s always in great touch. I’ve been lucky that I’ve played with the likes of Chris Gayle, AB [de Villiers], [Adam] Gilchrist, Virat Kohli…I started with Chris Gayle in KKR in 2010. I’ve been very fortunate to know him as a friend. He’s so humble, down-to-earth,” Mandeep said.