Gurgaon: His talent was never in doubt for his family and cricketing friends. But when Manvinder Sultan Singh Bisla exploded for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the crucial final of Indian Premier League (IPL) final Sunday night against Chennai Super Kings, their wishes came true as he brought his team closer to victory.
Born in Hisar town in Haryana, where his father Sultan Singh Bisla served in the Haryana Agriculture University (HAU), Manvinder played his entire junior cricket for Haryana before shifting loyalties to Himachal Pradesh. He started as a medium pacer and even played the U-19 World Cup in 2002 as a bowler. But later he took up the gloves to become a wicketkeeper.
While the 27-year-old Bisla was with his KKR team-mates in Chennai, celebrating after the victory, his family was distributing sweets to friends, relatives and well-wishers in Gurgaon, where they are now settled.
"We are very happy (at his knock). We want to thank Gautam Gambhir and Shah Rukh Khan for showing faith in him (Bisla). He is a very talented cricketer. When he wanted to become a cricketer, we supported him," a visibly happy Sultan Singh Bisla told media here Monday.
Bisla (89 of 49 balls) and veteran Jacques Kallis (69 off 49) put together a match-winning partnership of 136 runs to set up a deserving victory for the Knight Riders, who won their maiden IPL title.
Bisla was a revelation this season in the IPL as in the 2011-12 season he was not a part of the Indian first-class set-up.. But on the big night, he stepped up to play a gem of a knock that took Knight Riders to win.
Bisla had been in an out of the KKR side during IPL-5 but delivered for his side when it mattered the most coming in as a late inclusion on the morning of the match in place of Brendan McCullum. Earlier, he had played for Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab.
"This was a display of his real talent. Earlier, he played below par. He is a natural free-flowing batsman," said Vishal Marwah, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association secretary.