Kolkata: Surprising the viewers every year has become a practice for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it’s no different this year. In the 2017 IPL auctions, some of the big names associated with the game have gone unsold. Names like Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara who have time and again proved their worth in the longer formats of the game have gone unnoticed this year.
Both Ishant and Pujara are an integral part of the Indian Test squad and have delivered fine performances in recent years. But when it comes to eye-catching cricket, or to be precise, franchise based cricket, a player’s performances in other formats of the game into aren’t really taken into account. For franchises, the scope of entertainment is superior to that of class, experience and quality.
This however shouldn’t be a topic of concern for the players who missed out this year as legends like Sourav Ganguly, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan and others who have been gems for the game of cricket and have gifted us some splendid moments to cherish forever, remained unsold in the previous seasons of the glittering tournament.
When it comes to IPL, even the stature of one of the best skippers of the Indian Cricket Team doesn’t hold any significance. MS Dhoni has given the Indian team all the success and reputation that other teams crave for. At a stage when he has just got over his prime form, he was removed as the skipper of the IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants. The owners now bank on Australian skipper Steve Smith.
Players like Sayan Ghosh, Karn Sharma, T. Natarajan, Pawan Negi and K Gowtham were roped in this year. T. Natarajan and K Gowtham were sold at a price much above their base price. Contrary to this, players like Brad Hogg, Ish Sodhi, Pragyan Ojha, Manoj Tiwary and Darren Bravo couldn’t make it into the teams despite having a lower base price.
What also comes as a big surprise is the omission of veteran protea bowler Imran Tahir. The match winner leg break bowler couldn’t attract any franchise despite being one of the best T20 bowlers.
These instances prove that age is a big factor when it comes to the glamour wrapped cricketing tournament. Having said that, IPL has always come up in support of youngsters and has always looked forward to provide them with a platform to showcase their talents. Players like Hardik Pandya, Sunil Narine, David Miller, Mohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane stand as examples.
It might be a grave offence to omit some of the veterans and experienced players, but what one must remember is that IPL is more of a phenomenon and sensation. A phenomenon, the standard of which is certainly inferior to that of International as well as domestic cricket.