Kings XI Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh paid a moving tribute to his late father Hardev after Punjab secured a convincing eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Monday. Mandeep’s father passed away last Friday.
“This was very special. My father always used to tell me you should remain not out in the game. This one is for him,” said Mandeep, whose unbeaten 56-ball 66 was instrumental in Punjab’s win. “Even if I scored a double hundred or a hundred, he used to ask me, ‘Why did you go out?’.
Loss of a loved one hurts, but what’s more heartbreaking is when one doesn’t get to say a final goodbye. Praying for @mandeeps12, @NitishRana_27 and their families to heal from this tragedy. Hats off for turning up today. Well played.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 24, 2020
Mandeep’s partnership with Chris Gayle (29-ball 51) made light work of KKR’s 150-target. In his knock, which included two sixes and eight fours, Mandeep said, “My role was to score quicker, but I wasn’t comfortable doing it.”
“So I told Rahul, if I play my natural game, I can see this through. So he was okay with me taking my time and he went after the bowling. I just told Chris he should never retire. He is the World Boss. He is too good.”
Last Saturday, a day after losing his father, Mandeep chose to open the innings against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue. However, he could only manage 17 off 14 before being caught off Sandeep Sharma’s bowling.