When a friend informed him, “You have been selected for the England tour’, Randhir Singh took it as an April fool joke. He had no doubt performed well with the ball this season, but still, as his family and members sat before the television for the news, Randhir grew nervous. The newsreader began reading the names of the members of the Indian team. As the name “Randhir Singh” was announced, there was an outburst of joy in the house of this pace bowler, who had arrived on the Indian cricket scene with a bang. His place in the Indian team was the result of long years of hard work and timely recognition of his talents.
Incidentally, after a long time, a cricketer from Bihar will represent India in international cricket. Randhir, however, is a product of Delhi for he learned his entire cricket in the capital. Randhir Singh was born on August 16, 1957. His first love was badminton, though he played all other games, but he took cricket seriously only after entering college. The man to spot his latent talents was his PGDAV college coach, Tariq Sinha.
Playing for PGDAV in the Inter-College Tournament in 1975–76, Randhir claimed seven wickets for 11 runs against Shri Ram College of Commerce. That performance marked the arrival of Randhir as a speed merchant. Next year, he represented Delhi in the C K Nayudu both at the inter-state and inter-zone levels and was selected to attend the national coaching camp at Bombay under former Test skipper Hemu Adhikari. In 1977–78, he was selected to play for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. Randhir migrated to Orissa In 1979–80, he took 14 wickets with the best figures of Ave for 43 against Bihar. The same year, he played for East Zone in the Deodbar Trophy.
Switching his allegiance to Bihar in 1980–81, Randhir claimed four for 83 against Bengal. Playing for East Zone in the Duleep Trophy, he performed well in the semi-final against North Zone and the final against West, in which he bagged four wickets. Randhir Singh had a rousing start in the 1981–82 season. In the Deodhar Trophy, he took two wickets in the first over of the match against Central Zone. In the Wills Trophy, with three for 18 against UP, he got the best bowler award. At Kanpur in the final against Bombay in the same tournament, he chipped in with the wickets of Sandip Patil and Suru Nayak.
Randhir played for Beard President’s X1 against the English team at Nagpur and also on the first day of International at Ahmadabad, where he bowled exceedingly well. In the Ranji Trophy, he bagged six wickets against Saurashtra and three against Delhi in the semi-final.
A cool-tempered, tireless workhorse, 23-year-old Randhir relies on his outswing to baffle the batsman. He occasionally bowls occasionally bouncers but only if the wicket is bouncy. Randhir’s idol in the manly art of pace bowling is the irrepressible Dennis Lillee.
Randhir Singh, who rose to the international reckoning without any godfather, credits all his success to Tariq Sinha and Mr. OP Malhotra, physical director of PGDAV College. He also received unstinted support from his elder brother. Randhir Singh has been a friend since 1980 and has played two ODIs. His only wicket was for Gordon Greenidge. This picture (by DV Jayner) was taken outside his house when he was picked for the England tour in 1982.