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IPL auction changes Ishant's life forever

cricket Updated: Feb 21, 2008 16:23 IST

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The morning after the Indian Premier League auction, when their phones did not stop ringing, most Indian cricketers stayed put in their hotel rooms and reflected on the seismic event which has changed their lives forever.

For long, they hankered with their board about suitable gradations and now an open market has reflected their true worth.

Or has it? For young Ishant Sharma fetched a price in the auction ($950,000) which outstripped the likes of Anil Kumble and Muthiah Muralitharan; Chaminda Vaas and Brett Lee; Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Sharma, all of 6'4" and still growing, is not yet 20 and in five Tests and seven one-day internationals, has only 12 and eight wickets to boast. Yet his $9,50,000 is nearly twice the amount which his captain Anil Kumble has commanded.

Kumble has spent as many summers in the field as Sharma has seen in his young life. It is the brand value and saleability among youth, rather than quality and longevity, which has dictated the market.

Sharma, the success story of the present tour, is reaping beyond his wildest dreams. A destiny's child, he cooled his heels in the Melbourne Test despite picking a five-wicket haul in the previous game for India. Injury to Zaheer Khan marked his return in Sydney.

Kumble's words "Ek Aur Over Karega" in Perth when he clearly already had overbowled an over or two, was the cataclysmic moment of his life.

He kept getting the big wickets, Ricky Ponting all the time, and reviews only got better.