'It hurt me': Cheteshwar Pujara admits going unsold in IPL for years was 'tough' for him
- Cheteshwar Pujara admitted staying out of the IPL was indeed tough for the batsman, to an extent that getting ignored repeatedly during auctions 'hurt' him.
Cheteshwar Pujara's long wait to once again represent an IPL franchise finally came to an end earlier this year, when during the 2021 auction, Chennai Super Kings picked the batsman for his base price of ₹50 lakh. Prior to this, Pujara had gone six seasons without getting picked by any IPL team. His last IPL appearance dates back to 2014, where he played six matches for Punjab Kings, scoring 124 runs. He has one fifty in the IPL, a score of 51 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013.
During an interaction in a YouTube show 'Mind Matters', Pujara admitted staying out of the IPL was indeed tough for the batsman, to an extent that getting ignored repeatedly during auctions 'hurt' him.
"It was tough. It was never easy to be left out and go unsold in the IPL. It hurt me. But that is something which I cannot control. After a point I realised that I'll try and focus on the things, which I can control and I kept working on getting better towards the shorter formats," said Pujara.
Last year, when the IPL was initially supposed to be held during its usual window of April-May, Pujara did not feature in the tournament and instead signed a short-term contract of six matches with County team Gloucestershire. Pujara, India's Test specialist had become only the second Indian overseas player to represent the County after Javagal Srinath in 1995. This was Pujara's fourth County team having played for Derbyshire (2014), Yorkshire (2015 and 2018) and Nottinghamshire (2017) earlier.
"I am really excited to get the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire this season. The club has a rich cricketing history, and this is a great opportunity to be a part of it and contribute to its success," Pujara had said last year.
"I am grateful to the club for giving me this opportunity and cannot wait to get to Bristol to meet my teammates and score some runs. I have really enjoyed the experience of coming over to the UK and playing county cricket over the last few years and I am looking forward to building on that whilst continuing to improve my game."
Prior to the start of the season, Pujara surprised fans when a video of him batting with a re-modelled stance and hitting huge sixes in a CSK net session emerged. However, Pujara was yet to get a game for CSK in IPL 2021 before the tournament was suspended indefinitely by the BCCI due to a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases inside the IPL bio-bubble.