When schoolboy sensations Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli scored triple centuries and a record 600+ run partnership way back in the 1980s, Test legend Sunil Gavaskar clamoured that they be immediately taken into the Test team.
Both were offered a place in the Mumbai Ranji team. Tendulkar grabbed the opportunity with both hands and the rest is history. (Kambli declined and took the more circuitous Under-19 route).
In the IPL age, nothing is a given and such knocks may not get you far. Just look at Pranav Dhanawade. Despite scoring an unheard of 1000+ runs in an innings in a school tournament he failed to make it to the next stage and even got arrested as he was on a practice ground where a VVIP chopper was to land.
The latest sensation is Mohit Ahlawat who scored an unbelievable triple century in a T20 league match the first time such a thing has happened in any such tournament in the whole world. The score against his name read: 300*(72). Unimaginable!
He was 270 with five balls to go and all five balls went for sixes for him to touch the T20 Mt Everest of 300. His team made 416 and won by 216 runs. Well now with a very humble base price of Rs 10 lakh, Mohit finds a place in the IPL auctions.
With the way IPL auctions have gone in the past he could even go unsold. One really hopes that doesn’t happen though and there’s a bidding war for who knows what such a person will achieve in the IPL and even international cricket.
Other superstars are ordinary too!
On the global field South African fast bowler Dale Steyn strides like a colossus. A feared fast bowler, he can make the best batsmen in the world and is absolutely lethal on green pitches. He has 650 international wickets in all formats. But in IPL, he has just been let go by the Gujarat Lions.
England has won only one World Cup and the man of the series in that was Kevin Pietersen. Even he has been let go by Rising Pune Supergiants. Other veterans who have been let go are Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan and Mitchell Johnson.
IPL versus PSL
You’ve got to feel for Pakistani cricket. It is always in the doldrums, but still it manages to come out with talent and its fair share of victories. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was a fine effort to kickstart the ailing domestic cricket scene within Pakistan, but on Twitter it usually trends for all the wrong reasons, especially one about PSL versus IPL.
Take a look at these Tweets comparing the two auctions…
PSL players watching IPL auctions. pic.twitter.com/NEfngQFNLQ— Bhayanak Puppy (@BhayanakPuppy) February 10, 2017
England’s love hate relation with IPL
England invented T20 cricket and then we hijacked it. First with the inaugural T20 World Cup win and then with the IPL. They have still not forgiven us for that. When the IPL was formed there was a major BCCI-ECB spat and then their players have been in and out.
This time while fans were wondering who would pick Pietersen up, he Tweeted that he wasn’t interested and was busy with other things. But the other English players will be keen to play especially after they have been acclimatized by a really long India tour.
Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Eoin Morgan are in the the highest base price Rs 2 crore bracket. Jonny Bairstow is in the respectable Rs.1.5 crore bracket. They should well make the most of this season.
Can Pujara play in the shorter formats?
Poor Cheteshwar Pujara. He has been in and out of the Test team despite making such a great beginning. While he seems to have just cemented his place in the Test team, he is hoping to make a comeback in the IPL.
He is yet to play in an international T20 and played his last ODI way back in 2014. He must be hoping to become an IPL regular and maybe even break into the shorter formats of the game at the international level.
His base price has been set at Rs 30 lakh. Let’s hope Here’s hoping that the new wall can break new ground.
Associate Nations trying to compete
While there are six Bangladeshi players in the auctions, associate nations are represented too. There are five from Afghanistan and one from the UAE. It remains to be seen how many of them finally get picked up. You may remember that in 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders had picked up Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands for a decent $150,000. However associate nations haven’t really had a great participation percentage at the IPL.
That may also have to do with the fact that there are so many T20 leagues all over the world and they are playing regularly there.
The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here