31-year-old Hrashal Patel is popularly known as Purple Patel as he won a purple cap for capturing most of the wickets in IPL 2021 and then he came into the limelight. Just for this reason, he got a chance to represent the Royal Challengers Banglore in the 15th season of IPL 2022 and the franchise bought him by paying 10.75 crores in the mega auction. Harshal Patel is a name that counts among the most successful pacers in IPL. But there was a time when all things were not so easy for him.
He has been a part of RCB in IPL from 2012 to 2017 and he caught 34 wickets in 36 matches. In the middle of the 2017 IPL game, he was sent back home. He shared a story of his struggle and how he felt like the epitome of rejection in a chat show with Gaurav Kapoor who on a popular YouTube show “Breakfast with Champions.”
“I played 5 games in 2016 and then didn’t play anything after that. 2017 again same situation. I was even sent home once. This used to happen a lot earlier because if you’re keeping a player, there’s his hotel room, daily allowances, you’ve to take him to practice, book his flight tickets. I vividly remember what happened. Avinash Vaidya called me in the room and he said ‘Dan (Vettori) (the former coach) wants to talk to you. And we were staying at Ritz-Carlton. So he called me to the breakfast area and told me ‘We don’t see you playing for at least 4-5 more games so we’re sending you home. But we’ll call you back. It was the epitome of rejection, that you aren’t even in the team.”
It was a very bad feeling for a cricketer to face a direct message from the coach that we will be no longer could be a part of this team. It was seeming lost everything for Harshal Patel. At that time, the RCB was got out of the playoffs. In the final match, Harshal returned and contributed to a team with 10 run wins over Delhi Capitals.
The player further said,
“Then I think after 4-5 games, RCB was knocked out, we were not going to qualify. So I messaged Vettori saying ‘Give me a game’. That was the first time I actually sold myself to anyone. They called me for the last game and we were playing Delhi at Kotla. The first over I bowled went for some 14-15 runs and then the nerves settled. I said ‘Already been hit for 15 runs, how much worse can it get?’. Then I ended up picking three wickets and won the game for the team. I was Player of the Match in that game. And then next year was the 2018 auction.”
Harshal was recalling every moment that he faced earlier in his cricket career. Harshal Patel entered Team India on the basis of his excellent performance in IPL. He made his T20 debut for Team India against New Zealand in the year 2021. Within a few months, he lost his elder sister.