Delhi Daredevils have released six players, including Pawan Negi — the most expensive uncapped player at $1.25million (R8.5crore) — for the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
Negi was bought by IPL team Delhi Daredevils a day after he was selected as the fourth spinner for India’s World T20 side. But even then, a price tag so high was surprising to say the least. (Who stays and who’s out)
What wasn’t surprising was that the 23-year-old failed to live up to the price tag. He played eight matches scoring 57 runs with a highest score of 19*. His bowling figures weren’t impressive as well as he went for 84 runs in nine overs picking up only one wicket.
Along with Pawan Negi, the other five players released by the IPL franchise are South African spinner Imran Tahir, Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, and the Indian trio of Mumbai’s Akhil Herwadkar, former U-19 allrounder Mahipal Lomror and Delhi pacer Pawan Suyal.
Negi’s career has been on the slide ever since the auction. He failed to make a mark in the Asia Cup T20 game against the UAE. His place in the Delhi Ranji team is no longer certain and he wasn’t selected in a single Ranji game Delhi has played this season. Manan Sharma and Varun Sood, both slow left-arm orthodox bowlers like Negi, have been the prominent options for the position.
Negi shot to fame with Chennai Super Kings, the team that has been serving its suspension alongside Rajasthan Royals, and Dhoni had also used him to open the bowling on a few occasions. He had also contributed with the bat coming lower down the order. And for someone on whom Dhoni showed immense faith, perhaps the price tag is to be blamed for his abrupt downfall.
Big money has been a cause of concern and not every player has been able to handle the pressure that comes along with a lucrative deal.
Like Negi, Murugan Ashwin who had played just three first-class matches and was bought at R4.5 crore by Pune Supergiants bagged only 7 wickets last season.
Deepak Hooda (R4.2crore) too, had a forgettable season with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. While he played all the matches for the champions, he scored 144 runs at an average of 10.28. He, however, has had a great season in the Ranji Trophy, aggregating 789 runs with Baroda in 8 matches.
To make matters worse for Negi, who last played matches in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League with Rupganj, the auctions are scheduled before the Vijay Hazare Trophy and he might not have an opportunity to prove his worth.
Negi has scored a century in one of the five matches he played for Rupganj, but that might not be enough to impress the selectors.