Chennai: Cricket is a lot about timing and the under-19 cricket team has done just right by lifting the World Cup ahead of the IPL mega-sale. But did that translate into a lot of money for the stars of that triumph?
After two days of bidding wars, it seems the franchises have chosen to be cautious when it comes to slashing the wallet for the latest crop of young talent in Indian cricket.
While some uncapped but proven performers like Avesh Khan laughed all the way to the bank with bids as high as Rs 10 crore, only a few of the Under-19 stars, including skipper Yash Dhull, managed to make deals with IPL teams at the two-day mega auction in Bengaluru.
A product of the academy run by Delhi Capitals and top scorer of the U-19 World Cup, Dhull was raised for Rs 50 lakh by the franchise that looked after him.
Exciting all-rounder Raj Bawa won a bid of Rs 2 crore from Punjab Kings, while Rajvardhan Hangargekar (with a base price of Rs 30 lakh) was won by four-time IPL champion Chennai Super Kings for Rs 1.50 crore.
Dhull’s teammate Vicky Ostwal was picked up later in the auction by Delhi Capitals for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Hangargekar, the newcomer to the CSK stable, hopes to learn the ropes from the legendary MS Dhoni, skipper of the four-time champion franchise.
The talented Maharashtra all-rounder is known for the ability to bowl yorkers at will, not so easy at any level, and can only get better by teaming up with Dhoni and the other big names at Super Kings.
It must be said that the various IPL teams appeared to be cautious when bidding on the players under 19 and did not seem ready to spend any money. Highly regarded for his all-round skills, Bawa won the largest bid among his U-19 teammates.
Although the teams did not go after Indian aces under 19 widely, South African Dewald Brevis, nicknamed ‘Baby AB’ and tipped to become the country’s future cricket superstar, was picked up by Mumbai Indians for Rs 3 crore where he would line up alongside Indian white ball captain Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and others.
Unlike previous years when the under-19s took center stage and even got lucrative offers, this time the franchises were quite restrained when it came to retaining the junior stars as it’s clear they need to be mature enough for a top flight cricket.
In previous years, under-19 stars such as Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, among others, have earned IPL contracts after their exploits in the selective junior tournament.
Shaw who was roped in from Delhi in 2018 for Rs 1.2 crore and Gill have since graduated from the senior team and established themselves as names to be reckoned with.
Like Shaw, Gill was signed up by Kolkata Knight Riders while in New Zealand for the Under-19 World Cup and has since made a name for himself with some notable performances for the senior national team.
While some under-19 World Cup members like Shaw and Gill have made it big, others like Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel and Riyan Parag have found themselves on the margins. They appeared in the IPL, but not on a regular basis.
Mavi, who ranks high, got lucky and was chosen by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 7.75 crore (base price Rs 40 lakh), while Kartik Tyagi, a key performer in the World Under-19 Championship in 2020, was netted by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 4 crore.
Arshdeep Singh, a member of the victorious Under-19 World Cup team in 2018, has struck a chord after being held for auctions by Punjab Kings for Rs 4 crore after impressing in IPL 2021.
Left-handed batter Yashasvi Jaiswal is one of those of the under-19 teams who have been in the spotlight.
The star of India’s 2020 campaign which saw the team lose to Bangladesh in the final, the Mumbaikar was bought by Rajasthan Royals in 2020 auction for Rs 2.4 crore and was retained by the same franchise ahead of the mega auction for Rs 4 crores.
Jaiswal’s team-mate in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, Ravi Bishnoi, is another name that has already paid.
The leg spinner, who was the top wicket taker in the event in South Africa, was picked by Punjab Kings in 2020 for Rs 2 crore but was released before this season to be tied by the new team Lucknow Super Giants for Rs 4 crores.
While Indian players from previous Under-19 World Cups have been able to make big deals, the current pack, which was considered a notch compared to past teams, this time received lukewarm responses to the IPL auction.
As for the uncapped players, Avesh (base price Rs 20 lakh) landed a Rs 10 crore contract with Lucknow Super Giants and became the most expensive uncapped Indian buy in the auction.
Avesh’s auction price was 50 times its base price, beating K Gowtham’s price of Rs 9.25 crore (by CSK) in 2021.
That’s not all, Tamil Nadu power-hitter Shahrukh Khan earned a bid of Rs 9 crore from Punjab Kings after being bought by the same team last year for Rs 5.25 crore.
A season wonder, Rahul Tewatia went to Gujarat Titans for Rs 9 crore and Rahul Tripathi earned a Rs 8.50 crore contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Nippy left arm pacer Yash Dayal from Uttar Pradesh who went to the new team Gujarat Titans for Rs 3.2 crore and Himachal Pradesh bowler Vaibhav Arora bought for Rs 2 crore by Punjab Kings were the other uncapped players getting good deals.
Tamil Nadu spinner R Sai Kishore (made by Gujarat Titans for Rs 3 crore) was another big grab among those who have not yet donned the colors of India.
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