Despite the Rajasthan Royals’s decent showing this season, not everyone is happy. And their reason seems genuine. Pankaj Singh and Deepak Chahar, two of the state’s most successful bowlers at this year’s triumphant Ranji campaign, have got a raw deal.
Both were picked by the Royals, Pankaj through the auction and Deepak after that, but the duo hasn’t played a match. In fact, Deepak wasn’t even picked in the final squad of 18.
A big loss
“It is a big loss for him. The Deccan Chargers approached him (he had skittled out Hyderabad for 21 in a Ranji game), the Mumbai Indians too were interested in him.
There were other financial benefits too. But he stayed with the home franchise, who said they needed him,” said Navendu Tyagi, his coach at Hanumangarh, the place Chahar comes from.
Chahar took 40 wickets, 30 in the league stages of the Ranji Plate Division and the rest in knockouts. He took seven wickets in the final against Baroda to help his team gain a slender 33-run lead, which eventually helped them win the title. Pankaj took 43 wickets this Ranji season, 33 in the league stages and the rest in the knockouts.
Both were No. 2 and 3 on the list of highest wicket-takers, Elite and Plate tallies included.
While Chahar is cooling his heels in Agra, Pankaj is here but hasn’t got an opportunity to play, losing out to Siddharth Trivedi and Amit Singh.
Trivedi has 10 wickets in nine games with an economy rate of 8.11 runs per over, while Amit has seven wickets and an economy rate of 6.88. Apparently, officials in the Rajasthan Cricket Association are looking to release Chahar the next season.
“Honestly, he’s lost out on a lot of money. This being his first first-class season, he was signed for Rs 10 lakh. But since he is not even in the squad, he’ll get very little,” said Tyagi.