In an interview to The Cricket Monthly, former Indian bowler Maninder Singh spoke at length about his cricketing career, hardships, success and failure. Singh was 15 when he made his debut in domestic cricket and in 1982 he was the youngest Indian player making Test debut. The man made his mark for his bowling action but he could not impress for long and spectators too lost interest in him.
He worshipped former Indian left-arm bowler Bishan Singh Bedi, tried matching his footsteps and sometimes even managed to disguise fans as they thought of Bedi when he bowled. But his charm faded with time and the wickets too dried up.
Success and failure both took a toll on Singh as the young boy in him could not handle success well and as he grew up his failures shattered him way too much. However, it wasn’t just his poor performance that led to his failure but drinking addiction also did the damage. He was so engrossed that he gradually dragged his talent in the dustbin.
It was after India’s series with Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 1986-87 when Singh played his best cricket following which he lost his form.
Singh reached a point when his colleagues and opponents were reaching their career peak while he was drowned in failure and alcohol. So at 30 when other bowlers were celebrating success, Singh was packing his bags and bidding adieu to Indian Cricket. He retired and life turned even worse as he was arrested for allegedly possessing drugs.
He blamed lack of practice for his poor form and underlined how he reduced his practice session from 2 hours to 20-30 minutes, therefore, admitting that it was his mistake to take bowling lightly as he did not really follow Bedi’s ‘the more you bowl, the better you become’ principle.
Singh also blamed his carefree attitude that led to many thoughtless decisions and in the process, he overlooked all the teachings from his seniors, most importantly the ones from Bedi.