File image of Praveen Kumar and Suresh Raina© BCCI/IPL

The early 2000s were an interesting time for Indian cricket. From around that time, players from small cities, towns made their way into the Indian cricket team. MS Dhoni is a prime example among them. Another player who made it big despite not starting from a place with no huge cricket background was Praveen Kumar. Hailing from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, Praveen Kumar made a name for himself as a premium swing bowler. He was a handy batter too. Overall from 2007 to 2012, Praveen Kumar played six Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is.

Praveen Kumar also played for IPL teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings Xi Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad.

However, his international career was not long. People often point that Praveen Kumar had off-field issues. Some reports claimed that  he had drinking issue, but now Praveen Kumar has made a sensational claim regarding the image that has been built around him.

“When I was in the Indian team, seniors said ‘drink nahi karna, yeh nahi karna, woh nahi karna‘ (Don’t drink, don’t do this, don’t do that). The senior players said. Karte sab hai. Lekin wahi baat hai na ki badnaam kar dete hai ‘PK toh drink karta hai’. Sab peete hai (Everybody does it but they tarnished me saying I drink'” Praveen Kumar said on The Lallantop.

When asked if seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly gave him that advice, Praveen replied: “Nahi. Naam nahi lena chahta camera pe. Pata sabko hai kisne PK badnaam hai. (I don’t want to take the person’s name. Everybody knows him)”

“Those who know me personally, they know How I am. A bad image of me has been created.”

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