Not much is heard about Kenya cricket these days, after the highs of the 2003 world cup, cricket in Kenya has been on a one-way ticket to oblivion. But all is not lost as the saying goes “there’s always light at the end of the tunnel”That light for Kenya cricket is the Gentleman I have on the Cricktalk20 platform today. He is a young man with laser sharp focus, his ambition is to bring back Kenya it’s lost cricket glory, He has played league cricket in Australia, he carries a wealth of cricketing experience and is an asset for any team he plays for, he is one of the only two Kenyans ever to be selected for the CPL draft in 2019, he is The Prince Gagandeep Singh.
Hi, Gagandeep tell us a little about yourself?
I was born on 5th August 1991, I am a right-arm medium-fast bowler and a right-hand batsman. I’ve played top-grade cricket in Kenya, Uganda and Austalia, I’ve played for Kenya A, emerging Kenya and franchise cricket, I captained my club side, Sikh union, to its maiden league trophy, I was my club captain for 8 years before stepping down as a captain of the club recently
How did you get into cricket?
Seeing my Dad play cricket with my neighbours, and when my Dad joined a club here in Nairobi called Impala cricket club it really motivated me to take up the game, plus Coming from an Indian background, and watching legends like Kapil dev play on TV, I made my mind someday I will also play at the Highest Level.
Who inspired you to take up Cricket?
I would say there are a couple of people who inspired me to take up cricket first up was my Dad without his guidance I wouldn’t be a top-level cricketer, then, of course, watching legends like Kapil Dev and Yuvraj Singh, whose all-round capabilities and match-winning contribution had me model my game after them.
We understand you were coaching your younger brother Gurdeep, who went on to make his debut for the National Team at the age of 15, what was the feeling for you and your family seeing him make history?
The feeling to see him play on TV was unbelievable, and an emotional moment for the family, the hard work was starting to pay off. I believe he can play for any team, he is a left-hand batsman and legspinner, of course, he is also very talented, Am really proud of his achievement.
You have played club cricket in Australia, what is the difference playing in Australia compared to Kenya in terms of structure?
There is a massive difference in terms of structure, everyone talks about cricket in Australia from the young to the old, when club cricket is being played there, the crowds are emotional, there is passion on the field, While in Kenya it’s totally different, well Australia is a test playing nation and Kenya is an associate nation comparing the two and getting to the level of Australia will take time. Deepdene United Cricket Club in Australia gave me a chance to play cricket in Australia we exchanged knowledge of cricket and I am grateful to them for having me in their team.
What do you reckon needs to be done to bring Kenya at par with other associate nations?
The Team needs to have a coach from the Sub-Continent region because most of our play is modelled more in a subcontinent style, the league needs to be competitive and having sponsors would truly help that, motivate the younger generation to play cricket and take it up as a career, have more age-group cricket in the country.
What are your goals as a cricketer?
Bring back the glory Days to Kenyan Cricket, playing in IPL, CPL, Big Bash and global franchise cricket around the world
What is your greatest cricketing memory?
Bowling to Imran Nazir, and getting him out bowled in the franchise cricket, also watching Yuvraj Singh making his debut in Kenya and being drafted in CPL 2019.
If given a chance what player past or present would you love to play alongside with?
Definitely Yuvraj Singh and Maurice Odumbe , Yuvraj Singh is a true fighter and he is my idol, I shifted teams in IPL following him, while Maurice Odumbe is forgotten living legend of Kenya, whom I feel has been under-appreciated by the Country, he was one of the very first sporting superstars from Kenya, and was a true warrior in the Kenya Jersy.
If you say present then it would Virat Kholi and Steve Smith.
How do you define success?
Yuvraj is defined Success for me, a true champion. There is no short cut to success, hard work is the key to success and as my friend, Vipul Narigara says it takes times for the right time to come, but the right times does come eventually.
Thank you Gagandeep for such a candid chat,we do hope to see you play across the world and bring success to your national team,from the team at Cricktalk2o all the best.