With cricket being considered a religion in India, the possibility of an average individual making it to the national team is extremely low. Further, the massive 1.4 Billion population also makes life difficult for cricketers to play in the national team, hence several players often manage to find emerging cricketing nations to find opportunities on the international stage.
One such name in this list has been Irish leg spinner Simranjit "Simi" Singh, who travelled to Ireland from India on a student visa. Simi was born in Bathlana, Punjab and had decided to quit cricket in India after failing to make the U-19 Punjab state team and decided to move to Ireland in 2005 in order to pursue his cricketing dreams.
But this transition was difficult as he had to take up temporary jobs along with pursuing cricket to live his dream. Coming from a middle-class household, he neither had massive financial backing nor the required job experience to find working opportunities. Hence he had to battle through hardships to survive in a foreign land and was even working as a part-time worker at a hardware store, a manual labourer, lugging heavy wood to store shelves.
The 35-year-old leggie made his debut for the Irish in 2017 at Dublin against New Zealand and has since emerged as a regular fixture in the side. In December 2018, he was one of 19 Irish players to receive a central contract from Cricket Ireland for the 2019 season. The following year saw Simi Singh become one of nineteen players to be awarded a central contract from Cricket Ireland, the first year where contracts were awarded on a full-time basis.
Since then Singh emerged to be a vital cog in a more-successful Irish side before creating history in 2021 as he scored a century batting at eighth position along with being among the top 5 world’s best economy bowlers in T20 cricket. With performances like these, he was named i n ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year (2021) at the annual ICC Awards in January 2022.