Interview: Simi Singh on Oman, Afghanistan and the origins of his leg-spin

February 7th 2019 | International

Interview: Simi Singh on Oman, Afghanistan and the origins of his leg-spin

Simi Singh is ready for competitive action

MUSCAT – Simi Singh, Ireland’s spin-bowling all-rounder, has spent a busy four months in India training - and working on a new “surprise” weapon, but is now keen to get back into competitive international cricket and eyeing the possibility of fulfilling a childhood dream.

Speaking from his hotel in Oman, where he is based with the Ireland Men’s international squad ahead of next week’s Quadrangular Tournament, Singh said:                                                                               

“After the end of the home season in Ireland, I headed to Mohali in India where I grew up, to train at the local academy with my childhood coach, Sukhvinder Tinku. His Academy has produced many IPL and international players.”

“I stayed at my parents place and was doing two sessions a day, five days-a-week. It was cricket training in the mornings and gym sessions in the evenings. It was great to train my bowling in India as I could train outdoors and on grass wickets pretty much every day.”

In January 2019, Singh was called up to join the Ireland Wolves squad which was playing in Sri Lanka:

“The Sri Lanka tour came as a surprise obviously, with a few players getting injured, but it couldn’t have worked out better for me. It was very beneficial to go there and get some match practice against quality opposition before the Oman and India tour. I had never been to Sri Lanka before so it was an amazing experience to play in those conditions.”

Singh’s off-season work has included developing a new ‘weapon’ – the right-arm off-spinner was working on leg-spin:

“The leg-spin began completely randomly at a net session before the ODI series against Afghanistan last season, There were no leg-spinners for our batters to train against so I just said to Fordie [Head Coach Graham Ford] that I could bowl a few leggies to prepare the batters. Once I started, our bowling coach realised there was potential in me bowling leggies in the future, so I started working on it from then on.”

“In Sri Lanka I bowled a mix of both leggies and offies - mostly leggies to righties and offies to lefties - making them play against the spin. As everyone knows, wrist spin is quite a difficult skill so I feel I’ve a while to go yet to get more control and bowl full-time leg spin, but I’ll keep working on it and use it as a surprise factor for now.”

Looking ahead to the next six weeks, he said:

“The conditions and facilities here in Oman are top-class - the weather is amazing too and we’re all really looking forward to the tournament. We’ll be playing against some real quality teams. We had some tight games last year in Holland against Scotland and Netherlands, and with the inclusion of some new players in our squad it’ll be exciting times.”

“Playing against Afghanistan is always a tough challenge because of their world-class spin attack. I’m looking forward to hopefully putting in some good performances both with bat and bowl and maybe win some games for my country. Getting picked for the Test squad was the best news I’ve heard this year, and perhaps I’ll soon be able to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming a Test cricketer.”

The Ireland Men’s team is in action on Saturday morning in a warm-up game against the Oman Development XI, before playing their first T20 International against Oman on 13 February 2019.

Oman Cricket has confirmed that the T20 International tournament matches will be livestreamed, with the link to be posted on their website prior to the first match.

 

 

Squads


Oman Quadrangular T20 Tournament Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series - T20 Squad
Paul Stirling (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – ODI Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

Afghanistan series – Test Squad
William Porterfield (Captain), Andrew Balbirnie, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker

 

Tour Schedules

Quadrangular tournament in Oman

• 9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI (T20)
• 13 February: Ireland v Oman (T20I); Scotland v Netherlands (T20I)
• 15 February: Ireland v Scotland (T20I); Oman v Netherlands (T20I)
• 17 February: Ireland v Netherlands (T20I); Scotland v Oman (T20I)

Ireland Men’s tour (Afghanistan series)

• 21 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st T20I
• 23 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd T20I
• 24 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd T20I
• 28 February: Afghanistan v Ireland - 1st ODI
• 2 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 2nd ODI
• 5 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 3rd ODI
• 8 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 4th ODI
• 10 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - 5th ODI
• 15–19 March: Afghanistan v Ireland - Test Match

 

 


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