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Friday, 10 November, 2000, 14:18 GMT
Singh - Court in the act
Steve Beauchampé meets Worcestershire's new signing Anurag Singh, who lays down the law about his winter job - as a solicitor.
It was an epic performance from Anurag Singh - 72 hours without a break, requiring concentration levels of Boycottian proportions, and he did not score a single run.
No surprise, however, as the 25-year old batsman is spending the close season working for Birmingham legal firm Wragge and Co. and his marathon effort involved overseeing the legal aspects of a corporate takeover.
When the winter tour squads passed him by, a temporary legal calling was almost inevitable for Singh, who has just joined Worcestershire from rivals Warwickshire.
He possesses a BA Hons in law from Cambridge and followed that with a year studying at the College of Law in London where he took his Legal Practice Course.
"I've one or two minor exams still to take and technically I'm still training, but I'm basically now a qualified solicitor and am handling real cases.
"The company has 1400 employees, with offices in Birmingham, London and Brussels and I'm currently working in the Private Equity department, handling such things as management buy-outs and buy-ins," he explains.
"Of course, I'd love to have gone on an England tour, but when I wasn't selected then practising law became my priority."
Last winter Singh played cricket for the Gordon club in Sydney and they were among several Australian sides after his services.
But he was is convinced that further grounding in the legal profession now will be more beneficial.
"These six months are crucial if I want a future in law. I'm required to undertake four departments: Property, Litigation and Corporate are compulsory, plus one other from a list including Employment, Banking and Intellectual Property.
"It's normally a two-year course but some aspects were covered at the College of Law and I'm hoping to complete the rest before pre-season training begins in earnest. Nonetheless, I'll return to law next year if a tour place doesn't materialise."
Singh sees benefits in such a dramatic change of working environment, the break allowing him to put cricket problems in perspective.
"When you're dealing with people who are at risk of losing their livelihoods through business failure, then those two ducks you got in the Second XI do seem less significant.
"As Neville Cardus said: "What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?""
For Singh, the legal grounding is about more than simply taking out an insurance policy for the day when his playing career ends.
"My job here requires maturity, discipline, clear thinking, the ability to assess a situation and react accordingly."
It is not dissimilar to his approach to batting.
"I don't set targets. I assess the state of play and don't panic if we're not on target. You've got to think longer term, even in a limited overs match. A couple of overs can completely change the rhythm, tempo and course of a game."
Singh believes counties do young players no favours by tending to mollycoddle and spoon-feed them.
"They don't make them fend for themselves, everything is arranged for them, their meals, transport, accommodation, their kit. It discourages personal organisation, without which you can't learn discipline and professionalism."
It is perhaps no surprise that Singh's leadership, both at Cambridge and later at the British Universities, coincided with a notable upturn in results for both teams.
County captaincy seems a natural progression, but when Warwickshire appointed another of their young batsmen, Michael Powell, to that rôle at Edgbaston, Singh's prospects of becoming skipper, or even of securing regular first team cricket, seemed to have diminished.
Time to assess the situation and react accordingly - hence the move to New Road.
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