IPL auction: Jofra Archer, D’Arcy Short and other unknown names who surprised all
Every year, the Indian Premier League (IPL) throws up names of talented yet unknown cricketers who surprise the pack and go on to grab huge deals in the auction. (IPL auction 2018 highlights)
The auction on Saturday and Sunday was no different. Here are a few that have had their fortunes turned around this season:
D’Arcy Short: Currently the highest run-getter in the ongoing Big Bash League, Short is one of the primary reasons why Hobart Hurricanes have reached the semi-final stages of the tournament. While 504 runs in 10 innings at an average of 56 is a remarkable achievement for scouts to sit up and take note, the strike rate of 147.8 with which he hammered those bowlers is perhaps the reason the Australian was swooped up by Rajasthan Royals for ₹4 crore although his base price was a paltry ₹20 lacs. Both Delhi Daredevils and the Royals were keen on getting his services but Delhi pulled out after the base price had gone up by 20 times. Some of Short’s recent blitz include scores of 96, 97 and 122* in the Big Bash and he can be expected to carry on with the same form for the Royals.
Jofra Archer: Like Short, Archer too is a part of Hobart Hurricanes and will join him at Rajasthan Royals when the IPL gets underway in April, later this year. The uncapped Caribbean was sold at a mammoth sum of ₹7.2 crore but there was some serious homework done before going all out after the 22-year-old. He can bowl as fast as 94mph, has a good mix of bouncers and the toe-crushing Yorkers, is handy with the bat and is the joint third-highest wicket taker in the Big Bash League with 15 wickets from 10 games. He also starred for Sussex in the English domestic circuit and can prove to be one of the dark horses for Royals in the IPL as well. In just 20 first-class games so far, Archer has 89 wickets against his name, while his strike rate in T20s read just 18.
Mujeeb Zadran: Yet another player from Afghanistan whose rise has been quite drastic in the past couple of years, Zadran followed the path of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi to join the IPL bandwagon this year and was sold to Kings XI Punjab for a whopping sum of ₹4 crore. His base price was ₹50 lakh but his recent heroics for his country saw an intense bidding war pan out between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils, with the latter eventually pulling out. The 16-year-old Zadran, who has already earned his national cap, is the first player born in the 21st century to play senior international cricket. He’s enjoying quite a good run at the under-19 World Cup as well with his wily spin and picked up a 4/14 to help Afghanistan knock hosts New Zealand out of the tournament.
Khaleel Ahmed: He has just two first-class games and 11 T20s under his belt but that didn’t deter Sunrisers Hyderabad to shell out as much as ₹3 crore for the 20-year-old who was part of the IPL for two years but didn’t feature in a single game. He was part of the Delhi Daredevils for the past two seasons but given the below-par show of the franchise itself, it’s not hard to imagine that they didn’t try and gamble out with too many options. Ahmed was part of Rajashtan’s Syed Mushtaq Ali squad that reached the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and had an impressive outing with 17 wickets under his belt from 10 games, second only to his state-mate Deepak Chahar who finished with 19. Khaleel’s base price was ₹20 lakh but it rose manifold as Hyderabad entered the race late but steered ahead of early bidders Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils.
Rahul Tewatia: He has just six first-class games under his belt but when the 24-year-old’s name was put out on the auction table, three franchises — Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Sunrisers Hyderabad — went after his signature in an unprecedented manner. With a base price of just ₹10 lakh, Tewatia’s value kept increasing at an astonishing rate and was finally swooped up for a staggering ₹3 crore, 30 times that of his base price! The leg-spinner had debuted for Haryana back in 2013 in a first-class game against Karnataka. He represented Kings XI Punjab in the previous edition of the IPL and had delivered a match-winning performance against KKR after he sent pack both Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa to finish with figures of 2/18 in his four overs. Tewatia’s bowling strike rate in T20s is pretty modest at 20.7.