Chandigarh, Sept.27 : Gurkeerat Mann, the latest entrant to the Indian squad, has said he was very surprised to get the call to join the national team as an all-rounder for the forthcoming one-day series against South Africa.
Talking to ANI here, Mann said that he was playing a match for India-A, and it was excited crowd that told him he had been selected for the senior team.
Detailing his cricketing strengths, he said, “I feel there’s more strength in my batting. Now, that I’ve been selected as an all-rounder, I’m focusing on my bowling as well.”
He also said that he and other youngsters saw former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as an inspiration.
“I am looking at this selection with a positive vision. I will be playing against a very good team (South Africa). I will give my 100 percent to the team. I think that I started cricket after Sachin Tendulkar inspired me. My parents have had a great role along with my coach in my success. I think batting would be of more advantage,” Mann said.
His father, Rupender Singh Mann, said, “His (Gurkeerat’s) hard work has been fruitful. He got motivated after watching cricket on television. His mother has invested a lot of time in him. I am a government employee. I congratulate him and hope that he has strength to live up to everyone’s expectations.”
Gurkeerat’s coach, Sukhvinder Singh Tinku, said, “It is a dream come true. He came to me when he was eight-years-old. Batting is his strength, he is a good bowler and fields well too, and he is a match winner. Once, he was not selected, did not get a chance, he was upset with me then.”
He currently represents Punjab in domestic cricket as a right-handed batsman and off break bowler. He is also a member of the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL). (ANI)