When Murugan Ashwin’s name flashed on the bidding screen for the minimum base price of Rs 10 lakh, it would have been dismissed by many as another obscure player from the south.
Highlights: Live Coverage of the IPL Players' Auction 2016
But then the scenario changed, once the buyers started raising their bidding bats one after the other, until the price reached Rs 4.5 crore and Rising Pune Supergiant took the 25-year-old bowler on board. In terms of how the final price compared to base price, with a multiple of 45, Ashwin was the biggest gainer in this season of bidding for IPL.
Who is Murugan Ashwin?
M Ashwin is a leg spinner who plays for Tamil Nadu.
A look at his list-A and first-class records can be misleading. He has played just 3 first-class matches and has picked up just 1 wicket leaking 246 runs. In the two list-A matches he has played till now he has picked up just three wickets giving away 69 runs.
Why then did he fetch such a high price?
He hasn’t made his mark yet in the domestic circuit, but he was sensational in the 2015-16 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Tournament held in January this year.
In the six matches he played in the tournament he bowled 23 overs and took 10 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.52. He took a wicket for every 14 balls he bowled in the tournament.
It seems that the 20 odd overs that he bowled were noticed by a number of scouts. A number of teams bid aggressively for him during the auction. Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) finally bagged him at Rs 4.5 crores.
Ashwin and Ashwin
His ex-teammate and namesake Ravichandran Ashwin must have influenced the RPS management to go after the player with all they had left in their kitty.
After all both of them graduated from the same college - Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering in Chennai.
“Not surprised M Ashwin was sought after by Pune. Highly rated by the other Ashwin!!,” Harsha Bhogle tweeted.
M Ashwin is son of a Tamil writer Era Murugan, who penned the dialogue for a famous Tamil movie Billa 2, in which Ajith Kumar plays the lead role.
“M.ashwin, my son, acquired by Raising Pune Super Giants team for 4.5c #IPL2016,” Era Murugan tweeted after the bidding.
It will be interesting to see whether the two Ashwins, one an off-spinner and the other a leggie, can bamboozle the batsmen in the forthcoming edition of IPL that gets underway on 9 April.