When one looks at the 2017 Indian Premier League auction, there were some surprises. England’s Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills were snapped up for record sums of Rs 14.5 crore and Rs 12 crore by Rising Pune Supergiants and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively. Among the Indian players, Karn Sharma was the most expensive pick as he was picked up by Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.2 crore.
However, two notable players went unsold in the 2017 IPL Auction. They were Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan. Both these players, who were part of the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise in the 2016 IPL, went unsold. The lack of buyers for these two players left many people surprised.
Ishant Sharma the biggest surprise
Ishant Sharma was picked by Rising Pune Supergiants in the 2016 Indian Premier League and he played a couple of games before he was injured. Heading into the 2016 season, he was sidelined by injury and illness and he missed the entire New Zealand series and a major portion of the England series.
Not being a white ball bowler and having a base price of 2 crore INR has not helped Ishant Sharma's cause— Aleem M (@aleem025) February 21, 2017
He played only one Test against England and one Test against Bangladesh and in both matches he impressed. Although he picked up only three wickets each in both the matches, he bowled with hostility and aggression. In the Hyderabad Test against Bangladesh, he bowled wonderfully with the new ball and the old ball and troubled Bangladesh’s batsmen with reverse swing and bouncers.
However, having played only two matches since October and having a high base price of Rs 2 crore probably went against Ishant. A very high base price for an Indian bowler is pretty rare, considering that no Indian pace bowler is present in the high brackets from Rs 1 crore to 2 crore. The high base price and lack of matches probably went against Ishant in the auction.
Irfan Pathan unlucky
Irfan Pathan will consider himself to be unluckiest of the lot. In the 2016 IPL, he played only one game for Rising Pune Supergiants. Following the end of the IPL, Irfan was plagued by injuries and a dip in form with both bat and ball. He impressed in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in which he picked up five wickets in four games at an average of 17.6 and an economy rate of 6.28.
However, with the bat, he managed just 32 runs in four games and this probably went against him, considering that he is an all-rounder. With a base price of Rs 50 lakhs, Irfan could have been picked. However, the combination of injuries, combined with loss of form in the domestic circuit probably influenced the teams and that is the reason he went unsold.