Living his "mother's dream", swashbuckling batter Rinku Singh says a burning desire to give his parents a good life while wading through tough times paved the way for his inclusion into the Indian team.
Rinku was picked by the national selectors for India's ongoing T20I series in Ireland, rewarding him for his excellent showing on the domestic circuit, including the IPL.
"A lot of blood and sweat has gone behind to earn this call. My passion for the sport helped me wade through a lack of support and financial hardships," Rinku said during an interview with JioCinema before leaving for Ireland.
"One thing that kept the desire burning was to give my family a good life, which was possible if I moved up the ladder in the sport. I had that self-belief and that made me stronger and helped me in my journey which has taken a new turn," he added.
Despite a stellar IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders, Rinku was not included in the squad for the preceding five-match T20I series against West Indies. He finished as the top run-getter for KKR with 474 runs at an average of 59.25 and 149-plus strike rate.
His dream was realised before the start of the series against Ireland. However, he was not required to bat in the first game as India won via the Duckworth/Lewis method after rain intervened.
Living the family's dream
What was his family's reaction to the news of his India call-up?
"They were very happy. My mother always told me to work as hard as I can to earn the India call and that has happened now, so I am living their dream."
Speaking about the difficulties his family faced as he grew up, Rinku said he was desperate to get his parents out of poverty.
"I have seen my family face financial struggles and I wanted to help them overcome through cricket. That desire to get them out of the grind kept me going. It kept me motivated to work hard and keep up my efforts.
"My family had a massive role in my journey to date. When they didn't have enough to fund my career, my mother borrowed money from others to keep me going. Where I am today is because of the support I have got from them."