From working as construction labour to representing USA in T20 WC, Jasdeep defies all odds

Jasdeep Singh's inspiring journey from construction laborer to representing the USA in the T20 World Cup is a testament to his resilience and determination.

Tridip Kr Sharma
T.K. Sharma

Last Updated: 2024-06-21

Louis Hobbs

5 minutes read

Jsdeep Singh

New Delhi: Making their T20 World Cup debut, the USA team proved they are no pushovers when they recorded a stunning SuperOver win against a star-studded Pakistan after beating Canada by seven wickets in their campaign opener, to ensure their smooth passage to the SuperEight stage of the tournament. Seamer Jasdeep Singh has been one of the key components of the USA side, more so as he along with their opening batter Steven Taylor, are the rare homegrown talent in the squad where more than half is filled by Indian expats.

For Jasdeep, who dismissed Babar Azam during the game against Pakistan, the journey hasn’t been a cakewalk, as he had to beat multiple odds to find himself in the USA side. At 16, he dropped out of the school as his father Paramjit Singh lost his job during the recession in 2007. He started working as a labourer along with his father at construction sites, when one day during the lunch break he stumbled on the news that USA qualified for the 2010 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Image Credits: Dream Cricket

Image Credits: Dream Cricket

The news somewhere struck Jasdeep’s head as he began finding ways to somehow get himself involved with the country’s cricketing folklore. However, it involved a lot of hustles, including working as an automobile mechanic for six years, working in a gas station, delivering pizzas and the list continued.

“It does feel like a dream. When I look back, my journey can be best explained in one word ‘hustle’. It was hard to hang on to one job as every time you are on a tour you have to leave that job and on return find another. This obviously was before US cricket began paying me, and today as we play the SuperEight stage of the tournament, it does feel surreal,” Jasdeep told SportsBoom.

However, once he did all the hard yards to earn himself a dream debut for the US team in 2017 during a tour to Sri Lanka for a first-class season, destiny had something else stored for him. Tragedy struck right before he could take the field when he was informed about his father’s death.

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It was devastating, and at that moment I thought cricket wasn’t for me. I was chasing a passion as my father wanted me to do it but now I had to take care of my mother and my sisters. My father had started a trucking business, and it had just begun to do well, so I felt I should take over it although frankly I had no clue about it.

Jasdeep Singh

But my family, my mother, my sisters, my girlfriend (now wife) were against the idea, and instead coerced me to continue playing cricket,” said Jasdeep, who recalled that the seeds of his cricketing dreams were sown at his ancestral village Pandore Punjab when he visited as a three-year-old.

On the persuasion of his family, Jasdeep continued his cricket before the thought of quitting once again flashed across his mind when he suffered a debilitating knee injury and tore his ACL, a couple of months later. But that time, Pubudu Dassanayake, the current coach of the Canada team, stood like a rock behind Jasdeep.

Jasdeep held himself together once again, and finally found himself in the T20 World Cup squad. He said that the team was pumped up and wanted to prove the naysayers who would make adverse comments that the USA side got an automatic entry to the World Cup by virtue of being the co-hosts along with the West Indies.

He felt that the two series against Canada and Bangladesh in the build-up to the World Cup helped the team to settle down as a unit. And unlike the cricketing world, Jasdeep doesn’t rate the surprise win against Pakistan as a mere fluke.

“Pakistan had lost a series against a weaker New Zealand side and then lost a match to Ireland. We watched all their games, and analysed all their players. We knew that if we play to our potential we stand a chance,” he recalled while revealing that the diversity in the USA side was the key behind their success.

“We have 15 guys from diverse cultures, regions, languages working together for one greater cause, that’s the big American dream. For me, that’s our strength.” he said before signing off.

Tridip Kr Sharma
Tridip Kr Sharma Sports Writer

Tridip Kr Sharma has been covering sports for close to a decade and a half, and served for various leading news outlets in India. He has covered three Olympics, three Commonwealth Games and as many Asian Games, besides numerous Cricket World Cups, bilateral cricket tournaments and Test matches.