Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh (Photo: Twitter)

Harmeet Singh, part of India‘s 2012 Under-19 World Cup-winning squad, has announced retirement from Indian cricket. He is set to join the Seattle Thunderbolts in the USA’s Major League Cricket on a three-year contract.

The off-spinner follows the path of his former teammates, captain Unmukt Chand and Smit Patel, who have left Indian cricket and moved to the USA to pursue their dream of playing international cricket.

Harmeet Singh, who made his first-class debut in 2009, said he was frustrated for not getting opportunities in India. He had played 31 first-class games, in which he averages 34.18 with the ball picking up 87 wickets, before leaving it altogether. Financial security is also one of the reasons for the 28-year-old to move to the USA.

Harmeet Singh during U-19 WC 2012
Harmeet Singh during U-19 WC 2012 (Photo: Twitter)

“This is not a sudden move. I was not getting the opportunity to play. In 12 years, I have managed to play only 31 first-class matches. It was getting frustrating with every passing year,” Harmeet Singh told IndiaToday.In from Seattle.

“Last September, during Covid-19, I moved to Seattle. I used to come here before every Ranji Trophy season to get some match practice. However, this time they offered me a deal that I was not able to refuse. The money I will be getting here is more than what I was earning in India.

“I thought where I want to see myself in the next five years. I am 28, and at this age, the spinners hit the peak. But I was not getting enough matches. Those who started playing with me have played 70 or 80 first-class matches, but I only managed to play 31 matches,” he added.

I will be qualified to play for the national team of the USA by March 2023: Harmeet Singh

The Mumbai cricketer wishes to play international cricket. He couldn’t do it for India, so now he is eyeing a shot at the USA side. He will be eligible to represent his new country by March 2023.

Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh with Unmukt Chand. Image-PTI
“In September, I will complete a year in the USA. And as per the rules, if I stay here for 30 consecutive months, I will be qualified to play for the national team of the USA. Therefore, by March 2023, I will be eligible to represent the USA. I will be 30, and I can finally restart my career,” he concluded.

Harmeet Singh has also featured in the IPL – in 2013 he played a solitary game for the Rajasthan Royals. His name also popped up in the match-fixing controversy but was cleared later.