On Monday, during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, Madhya Pradesh batsman Harpreet Singh was hoping to be picked by a franchise to play the T20 league. However, a case of mistaken identity cost the cricketer his chances of being picked.
Earlier on the same day, Mumbai cricketer Harmeet Singh was arrested for driving his car on to a platform at Andheri railway station. However, incorrect news updates mixed up the names of one-time Mumbai left-arm spinner Harmeet with Harpreet.
The news updates were later corrected, but the damage was already done. Harpreet remained unsold at the auction, and the reason, according to a franchise representative, was the incorrect information about his arrest, reported the Indian Express.
“We wanted to buy him, but as news came of Harpreet’s arrest, we decided not to do so since it would give the franchise a bad image,” a franchise official told the daily. “But later, when the auction got over, we came to know it was Harmeet and not Harpreet.”
On the day of the auction, news agency ANI, on its official handle, tweeted: “Under 19 cricketer Harpreet Singh detained for driving a car straight into Andheri railway station platform last night.” The tweet caused a lot of confusion among other news agencies as well. The incorrect tweet remainded on ANI’s timeline till Wednesday.
After the Indian Express sent a query about the mix-up, the agency issued a corrected tweet as late as Wednesday evening. “Incident of driving car into Andheri Railway Stn platform involved U19 cricketer Harmeet Singh, not Harpreet Singh as reported earlier… Mumbai U-19 cricketer Harmeet Singh who was then arrested for the offence, was granted bail by Andheri court thereafter,” the agency tweeted.
However, for Harpreet the damage seems irreparable. “I’m mentally disturbed… Mera naam toh kharab ho gaya na (I have got a bad name). How can one clear that? I am getting calls from everyone asking what have you done? I was hoping to be picked up at the IPL auction… When my name came, the franchises must have felt why take a player who is in police custody. I am not bothered about IPL now, it’s gone. But even if you run a search on my name on Google, the first thing that comes up is that I was arrested,” Harpreet told the English daily.