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“Worked At Pakistani Guy’s Perfume Store”: RCB Star On Experience

RCB medium pacer Harshal Patel© BCCI/IPLHarshal Patel had a breakout IPL season in the year 2021, which saw him finish as the league top wicket taker as he took home…

RCB medium pacer Harshal Patel© BCCI/IPL

Harshal Patel had a breakout IPL season in the year 2021, which saw him finish as the league top wicket taker as he took home the IPL Purple Cap with 32 wickets. He was bought back by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 10.75 crore in the IPL mega auction ahead of IPL 2022. Patel’s great performance in IPL 2021 also saw him make his India debut in T20Is. But life wasn’t all rose for the medium pacer from Gujarat.

During a conversation with renowned cricket anchor Gaurav Kapur on his show “Breakfast with Champions”,Harshal spoke about his struggles in the USA, where he worked at a perfume shop for a meagre salary for 35 dollars per day.

“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 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. 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,” Harshal said.

Harshal said that he played junior cricket in Gujarat and felt that he could do well in the sport and that convinced his parents to leave him him and go to the US, so that he could pursue his dream of becoming a cricketer.

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“I used to play junior cricket. I was a little too quick for my age. Unfortunately that pace stopped at that level. And they (parents) put all that faith in me. And when my parents left they told me one thing ‘don’t do something which puts us in a bad situation’. I took it to heart. I used to go to Motera to practice from 7 am till about 10 am. There was a sandwich shop, I would eat sandwiches and return. Aloo-mutter (potato and peas) sandwich, vegetable sandwich. Not toasted. Because toasted (bread) was expensive. Aloo-mutter and vegetables used to be Rs 7, toasted was Rs 15,” Harshal said while speaking about his struggles.

In IPL 2022 Harshal has picked up 10 wickets in 11 matches so far and RCB are still in with a chance to make it to the play-offs.

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