Three unsold players who made their mark when they got an opportunity later
1. Steve Smith
Steve Smith is a legendary player now and is surely one of the best captains in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, there was a time where he really struggled. When he started off as a leg-spinner, he was with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then, he moved the now terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala side.
However, it was not until 2012 that he got to make his IPL debut. When the Kochi players were put back into the auction pool, Steve Smith decided to go ahead with a base price of $200,000. But to his surprise, he found no bidders. Later though, the Pune Warriors team roped him in, and he got an opportunity to prove his worth.
2. Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga is one of the most inspirational IPL stories you’ll ever come across. When Mumbai Indians won the title in 2015, he was one of the most instrumental in helping them get there with 24 wickets from 15 games. However, the Sri Lanka pacer was ruled out of the tournament in 2016 due to a knee injury.
Coming back from this in 2017, he didn’t have the best of seasons. In 12 games, he only picked up 11 wickets and his economy rate went up significantly. After this, many thought it was ‘game over’ for him and he was also unsold in the IPL 2018 auction. For that season, he continued with Mumbai Indians as a part of the support staff.
3. Chris Gayle
When life gives you an opportunity, grab it like Chris Gayle. The IPL 2011 season exactly justifies this statement. Despite scoring 292 runs at an average of 32.44 and a strike rate of 158.69, the Kolkata Knight Riders decided to part ways with him. Thus, the West Indies opener was put back into the auction.
At $400,000, Gayle placed himself in the highest base price bracket for the auction. But to his surprise, he didn’t attract any bidders and went unsold. Later, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) decided to rope him in as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes.