Pankaj Singh has not been picked up by any IPL franchise for the 2014 edition © AFP
Pankaj Singh has not been picked up by any IPL franchise for the 2014 edition © AFP

 

Apr 11, 2014

 

Pankaj Singh, one of the better performing bowlers in the Indian domestic scene has decided to quit the sport next year if he is kept ignored by the national selectors till then. The Rajasthan pacer, who turns 29 next month, said, “I have to be realistic. If the selectors don’t recognise my effort, I will have to think of something else.”

 

“If it does not happen in the next season then there is no point thinking of the India cap. It would be quite clear that I will never play for India,” Pankaj told Mid-Day on the sidelines of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

 

Pankaj has been demanding the national selectors’ attention with his consistent performances over the years at the domestic level. After being a part of several India A tours, he finally wore the India cap during last year’s Zimbabwe tour, where he played just one One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka. And that was it, no more matches since then.

 

Earlier this year, Pankaj was awarded a place in the Rest of India playing XI during their Irani Cup 2014 encounter against Ranji Trophy 2013-14 champions, Karnataka. He managed to pick six wickets in the first innings, even as Karnataka piled up a massive 606.

 

“The Irani Trophy selection did boost my confidence. It means I am on the selectors’ radar. So, there is hope that something will happen. I am just living by that hope,” said Pankaj. The lanky pacer, who has 300 and 75 wickets in First-Class and List A games respectively, is understandably frustrated as no Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has bid for him for the 2014 edition of the cash-rich league.

 

“It was a setback. I don’t know why that happened. Despite proving every year in domestic matches, I don’t know where I am lacking… but that has helped me work harder on my game now. “I don’t have any matches after this (Syed Mushtaq Ali T20). I will work on my fitness and skills,” concluded Pankaj.