Incredible story of Harshal Patel: From selling perfumes at Pakistani man’s shop to becoming fast bowler for Royal Challengers Bangalore


Harshal Patel has become one of the most reliable fast bowlers in the IPL with the player scalping wickets at a regular interval. Patel was recently in the news due to his altercations with Riyan Parag. Not many know that today’s fast bowler once sold perfumes for a Pakistani man for $35 a day.

Harshal Patel
Photo: IPL website

Speaking on Breakfast with Champions, a programme hosted by Gaurav Kapoor, Patel recalled how it was hard for his grandmother to raise seven children with next-to-nothing income. The Royal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler said that his father’s generation had a slight better life. However, according to Harshal, his father could barely put food on the table despite working for six-and-a-half days a week.

“We never had in abundance but we just had enough. The guiding principle in the family was ‘if you do the right thing for the first 30 years of your life, you don’t have to worry about the rest. I took that philosophy too seriously because I saw my father work six-and-a-half days a week, every single day. Hot, cold, rain, doesn’t matter.” Harshal said.

Compared to the hardship faced by his family, Harshal said that now he was in a position when he could take a day off without bothering about its impact on his livelihood.

Harshal said that his family moved to the US just before the financial crisis hit the world in 2008.

Recalling his days when he sold perfumes for a Pakistani shop in the US, Patel said, “Once in the US, I had to work (to survive). I started working at a perfume shop owned by a Pakistani guy in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I had studied in a Gujarati medium school, so couldn’t speak English at all. That was my first encounter with the English language and a version with so much slang. Because they had a predominantly Latino American populatuon. So I picked up their gangster English.”

Harshal, who lost his sister recently, was embroiled in a heated altercation with Riyan Parag after he was hit for two sixes and one four in the last over of the Rajasthan Royals innings.

Harshal also thanked Zaheer Khan for guiding him as a fast bowler in his early days. Harshal said that his father took retirement immediately after he received his American passport.

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