It was a day for celebration when Mumbai Idians bought athu Singh for a over rated price with what he deserved to, and it was dream come true for the 21 years youngster.


He was from a poor family where his father earned a very little and they had to survive on that particular expense and the lad recalls of the days when they used to live in trouble.

Remember Nathu Singh? That raw Rajasthan medium-pacer who hit the jackpot during IPL auctions last year, when Mumbai Indians picked him up for a stunning Rs 3.2 crore? You might need to scratch your head a bit before the name registers. After all, this bowler has done little since then, to justify the jaw-dropping price tag, or the trust that was put in his talent.

Nathu, whose family of four till then just about managed to survive on a meagre monthly salaray of Rs 8,000 that his father earned, was suddenly flush with money. That was the kind of money he had never dreamt of, leave alone finding it in his bank account. After tax deductions, he was left with a little over Rs 2.8 crore. And what did he do with it? "My family has always lived in a shanty and so, my priority was gifting them a house," Nathu said. The house is under construction and will cost him Rs 1.5 crore when it is ready. Another Rs 50 lakh has gone into investments into land. For himself? "I bought a car," Nathu said sheepishly. "I was travelling on a bike, which was risky. So I thought I should buy a car."

However, more than the money, it was a dream coming true. "I have always wanted to play for India and being picked up by a top IPL side meant I was slowly getting there," he said. Destiny, though, had other plans as a shoulder injury meant Nathu would warm the benches throughout the T20 league. That was a huge setback for the bowler who was being talked about as the next big thing on the Team India run-up. Nathu never quite recovered from that shock. Inconsistent form meant he wasn't even a regular in the Team Rajasthan Ranji Trophy side. One good Duleep Trophy match was never going to be enough for him to realise his dream. "I am a kind of bowler who relies on pace," Nathu told TOI on Wednesday. "But throughout last season, I just could not step on the pace. I was bowling slowly and my heart wasn't into it." He wasn't getting the right kind of opportunities either.

That, Nathu says, has changed with him regaining full fitness. "I am bowling at over 140 kmph again." With another IPL auction around the corner, Nathu is hoping to hit the jackpot again.Mumbai Indians have released him and he is back in the auction pool with a base price of Rs 30 lakh.