IPL sensation Rinku Singh funds sports hostel for childhood club in Aligarh

No downtime for KKR finisher as he resumes training

Rinku Singh with trainees at Aligarh Sports Association. (Photos: ASA)
Rinku Singh with trainees at Aligarh Sports Association. (Photos: ASA)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Overnight stardom in the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) has certainly not got to Rinku Singh's head. The boy from Aligarh has not forgotten his town and its small club where he first learnt the ropes as a 12-year-old. Now, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star has decided to fund a 50-bed sports hostel for his childhood club, Jadon Riders Club, in Aligarh.

The club has built up the facility adjacent to the ground of Aligarh Sports Association (ASA). ‘’It’s a wonderful gesture on part of Rinku as it will solve the accommodation problem of children, some of whom come from underprivileged background like him.

Rinku has paid Rs 50 lakh out of his pocket. The project will be unveiled soon by Rajiv Shukla, the BCCI vice president and president of Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA), soon after the IPL,’’ said Fasahat Ali, a former Ranji Trophy player from UP and a senior ASA official.

Speaking during a telephonic interview, Ali said Rinku has been an inspirational figure for teenagers in Aligrah. The city has provided UP a number of players in Mohammed Shahid, Rafiullah, Aslam Ali, Rizwan Shamshad and, of course, Fasahat; but Rinku’s exploits in recent times have brought a renewed excitement and fame to the city.

IPL sensation Rinku Singh funds sports hostel for childhood club in Aligarh

The local media as well as national TV channels had been converging at the two-room, dingy residence of Khanchand Singh and Veena Devi, Rinku's parents, for interviews.

Meanwhile, there has been little downtime for the cricketer himslef as barely a week after his explosive last innings of 67-not-out at the IPL, Rinku is back to the grind.

‘’He has arrived in Aligarh a few days back and has resumed training at the ASA ground. We are felicitating him on Sunday (May 28) after which he heads back to New Delhi, where he spends most of the off-season in order to train with Nitish Rana, the KKR skipper and a good friend’’ Ali said.

Arjun Singh Fakhira, a local farmer, had founded the Jadon Riders Club. ‘’He still remains the down-to-earth character that who still roams around the streets of Aligarh on a two-wheeler,’’ Fakhira said during a chat.

Aligarh is now praying that Rinku is seen in India colours as soon as possible with several former stars rooting for fast-tracking him in white ball squad along with Yashasvi Jaiswal. ‘’There are two things that Rinku has shown to the children here: work hard and never to give up in your dreams,’’ said a proud Fakhira, one of the earliest benefactors of the player.

This IPL, the KKR may have failed to make the play-offs, but Rinku has had a dream run with an aggregate of 474 runs from 14 innings with an average of 59.25 and four fifties. It may not be long before Rinku begins knocking the doors for national selection--and he is certainly keeping himself ready for it.

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