5 Times when uncapped players stole the limelight in IPL Auction
Isn’t the Indian Premier League (IPL) about unearthing the undiscovered talent and providing them with a platform? While that was the primary motive behind the establishment of the tournament, various other dynamics have factored in as the league established itself. These vivacious characteristics of the IPL make it what it is today. Yet, on a consistent basis, the IPL has contributed to showcasing some of the best-uncapped cricketers.
Perhaps, it is one of the few cricket leagues that has discovered various talented cricketers on a global level. Even though the number of cricketers who have gone onto play for the Indian team outnumbers the overseas cricketers who have played for their national teams later, the league still has made a huge contribution as far as uncapped players are concerned.
Many even dream of just getting one chance to play in the IPL. With so much talent scouting amongst all the franchises, there have been several young cricketers who managed to impress and at times, hogged all the limelight at the auction.
Here are five instances when uncapped players stole the limelight at the IPL auction:
1. Krunal Pandya
Hardik Pandya made quite an impression when he played for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2015. The following year, there were many eyes laid on his brother Krunal Pandya as well. The talent scout teams of the Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Delhi Daredevils (now, Delhi Capitals) had followed the southpaw for close to two years before the 2016 auction.
Knowing what he is capable of, they both went after him bidding aggressively. In the end, MI got him at INR 2 crores – 10 times of what Hardik (INR 10 lakhs) was paid initially. And again, when he was put back into the auction pool in 2018, Krunal fetched a huge amount.
This time, he became the costliest uncapped buy at an IPL auction. After a bidding war between the Rajasthan Royals (RR), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the MI franchise decided to use their ‘Right to Match Card’ at INR 8.8 Crore. Later, Krunal went on to play for India. He continues to be an important member of the T20I squad.
2. Jofra Archer
It is a rarity that a player makes his international debut with massive expectations from all across the globe. Such is the standard that Jofra Archer set after he moved out of West Indies. With the WICB almost forgetting the talent that he is, post a back injury, Archer decided to sign a contract with Sussex.
In 2017, he got noticed for his performances for the Sussex Sharks in the T20 Competition. Then, he was signed for the BBL and BPL where he impressed everyone. In the IPL auction, the Rajasthan Royals went hard after him.
With INR 7.2 crores, they acquired his services in 2018. Since then, he has been one of the standout bowlers for the team. Archer also made his England debut in 2019 just before the World Cup after the ECB tweaked its rules to accommodate him in the side.
3. Varun Chakravarthy
Not many knew about Varun Chakravarthy before the IPL 2018 auction. Varun’s is quite a success story as he was like any other person who completed his studies and worked for an organization. But then, he rediscovered his first love – cricket and left his job to give it a shot at this sport.
Varun slowly rose up the cadre with his skill with the ball and then made his mark when he got an opportunity to play in the TNPL. He caught the eye of many with his performances in that tournament. Thus, most of the franchises were well aware of the different variations he could deliver making him a mystery bowler.
In 2019, the Delhi Capitals (DC), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) were involved in a bidding war for him. But in the end, it was the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) who got him at INR 8.40 crores. This was a huge amount as Varun hardly played any state-level cricket before that. Even though he didn’t play many games due to an injury, he will be eager to showcase his talent in the upcoming season.
4. Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan, with his aggressive brand of cricket at the domestic level, caught the eye of many. The left-hander strikes the ball clean and long. His performances at the domestic level impressed the Gujarat Lions (GL) who bought him for INR 35 lakhs in 2016.
Making the most of these chances, Kishan came up with some highly effective performances. Thus, he became a noted figure in the Indian cricket circles. Moreover, him being a wicket-keeper is an added advantage.
So, the Mumbai Indians (MI) set their eye on him when he was put back in the pool in 2018. After an intense bidding war with CSK and RCB, they finally acquired him at INR 6.20 crores. Ishan Kishan is yet to make his international debut.
5. Pawan Negi
Playing for the Chennai franchise, Pawan Negi managed to impress with some aggressive batting and tidy bowling. When the franchise was suspended, he was back at the auction table in 2016. The Delhi Daredevils (now, Delhi Capitals) surprisingly went hard after him.
Overnight, Pawan became a million dollar baby as he was bought for a mind-boggling INR 8.50 crores – the highest for an uncapped player back then. However, the franchise soon realized how big a blunder this was. Negi, in eight matches, scored only 57 runs and picked up one wicket.
After the auction, just before the IPL started, he made his international debut in the same year. Pawan was then picked by the RCB in 2017 at his base price of INR 1 crore. The Virat Kohli-led team, in a shocking move, exercised its RTM card for him in 2018 and bought the bowler at INR 1 crore once again.