IPL 2022: RCB’s Harshal Patel used to work at a Pakistani store for $35 a day

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s premier pacer Harshal Patel revealed that he used to work at a shop owned by a Pakistan in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Harshal was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 where he picked 32 wickets in the season. The right-arm pacer was not retained by RCB ahead of IPL auction 2022 but was bought back for Rs 10.75 crore. 

In Breakfast with Champions hosted by Gaurav Kapoor Harshal told, “I used to work at this Pakistani guy’s perfume store in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I couldn’t speak a word of English because I had studied in a Gujarati medium throughout. That was my first encounter with the language and also with the language with so much slang because that entire area was predominantly Latino and African American. Then I picked up their kind of English. Gangster English. They used to come and buy $100 perfume bottles on Fridays.” 

“On Monday they used to come back and used to say, ‘Hey man I just sprayed it a couple of times. I want to return it, man. I have no food on the table’. That was a regular occurrence. It was a great experience for me because I learned what those blue-collar jobs really are. My aunt and uncle used to go to their offices, and they would drop me on the way. So at 7 am I would be dropped and the store would open at 9 am. For two hours I used to sit at the Elizabeth railway station. Do my work till 7.30, 8. So 12-13 hours a day and I used to get paid $35 a day,” he added. 

In 2018, Harshal was bought at the base price of Rs 20 lakh in the 2018 auction by Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals). No one else rose the paddle during the auction for Harshal. In his two seasons at Delhi, the 31-year-old could only pick five wickets in seven games. 

Talking about the downfall he said, “I was just in a spiral of these dark thoughts. ‘Who are you? You’ve given so much to this game and worked so hard’ and this and that, all these things you tell yourself. The image you’ve built of yourself. It’s very important to acknowledge what you’re feeling and not dismiss it. If you’re feeling something that means it’s legitimate.”

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