The Indian Premier League has brought in so much money into the country, it is currently unimaginable to think where the future would’ve headed if not for the commencement of the tournament in 2008. Besides providing an opportunity of a lifetime for so many youngsters to play with top quality cricketers from around the world, some youngsters’ fortunes have changed with a stint in this tournament.
A lot of young cricketers like Parvinder Awana, Khaleel Ahmed, Sanju Samson and others made their international debuts courtesy this tournament and they also received huge pay-checks from the franchises. For many cricketers, just one stint in the tournament could earn them the money with which they can live out their lives peacefully.
Here are five stories of rags to riches courtesy the IPL
1. Krunal and Hardik Pandya
For a base price of INR 10 lakh, Baroda youngster Hardik Pandya was roped in by the Mumbai Indians. He was still a bit naive at the highest level, but Pandya did make his mark in the tournament, which helped him make his international debut a few months later in India’s historic T20I series clean-sweep in Australia.
In the next auction, his brother Krunal Pandya, who was a completely unknown commodity, went for a whopping INR 2 Crore and he took the tournament by a storm with his explosive batting and cunning left-arm spin. After the Pathan brothers, who incidentally also hailed from Baroda, Indian cricket had a new brother’s combination.
Their father always struggled financially as they had a small car-finance business, but he always provided ample support for his kids to pursue their dreams. Hardik Pandya recalled the joy of gifting his father a car with the money he earned in an interview, which definitely must’ve been a priceless moment.
2. Mohammed Siraj
Perhaps the most famous of all the rags to riches stories in IPL, the story of an auto-driver’s son from Hyderabad ending up winning a huge contract in the cash-rich league was no less than a fairytale. Mohammed Siraj had taken up cricket seriously just a few years before he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping INR 2.6 Crore.
He was coming on the back of an outstanding domestic season for Hyderabad and although his performances were not up to the mark, Siraj did impress with the high speeds he was clocking. In the 2018 auction, Virat Kohli‘s Royal Challengers Bangalore went after him and ended up winning his services again for INR 2.6 Crore.
Despite all the financial struggles his family had to suffer, Siraj’s stint in the IPL helped him buy a new house and lead a good quality life. His performances for RCB too have not been very consistent, but the fast bowler will be desperate to overcome this struggle and get back to international cricket soon.
3. Nathu Singh
Rajasthan’s fast bowler Nathu Singh’s name started trending around social media when Mumbai Indians decided to pay him a whopping INR 3.2 Crore in the IPL auction 2016. His father worked as a labourer in a wire factory near Jaipur and he lives most of his life surrounded by financial predicaments.
He made huge in-roads in the domestic circuit playing for Rajasthan as well, which eventually earned him a well-deserved IPL contract. He was earlier picked up by Delhi Capitals as well, but he went unnoticed. This time, the world took notice when his rags to riches story was published in perhaps every newspaper there was.
Nathu Singh didn’t play as many matches as he would’ve liked for the Mumbai Indians, but his life changed significantly after this. This gave him the inspiration to work harder and is currently striving hard in the domestic circuit for Rajasthan.
4. T Natarajan
Thangarasu Natarajan was first noticed in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, where his left-arm fast bowling resembled Mustafizur Rahman. Kings XI Punjab were quick to pounce and win his services in the 2017 auction, but it came at a hefty price of INR 3 Crore.
His father was a daily wage worker and his mother would sell meat to earn a living. His parents struggled to keep up with the expenses of their households as their son kept pursuing his dream of making it big in the cricketing fraternity. He did make significant progress through the TNPL and his financial predicaments are pretty much solves.
Natarajan was picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2018 auction but is yet to play a game for them. But being in a pool of outstanding fast bowlers will help him immensely and even the SRH management will find it difficult to keep him on the bench for a longer duration.
5. Rinku Singh
Uttar Pradesh batsman Rinku Singh nearly became a sweeper after not finding a pathway forward through the domestic circuit, but life had something else in store for the man from Aligarh as the Kolkata Knight Riders picked him up in the 2018 January for INR 80 lakh.
His father used to deliver LPG cylinders, with two of his brothers working as an auto-rickshaw driver and the other working in a coaching center. To get proper food on a regular basis was getting difficult for his family and Rinku Singh struck a meaty blow in the auction to help his family take a deep breath out of satisfaction.
He has been doing a good job in the domestic circuit for Uttar Pradesh and is time and again getting opportunities with the Knight Riders as well. Just 22 years of age, Rinku Singh definitely has a great future to look forward to and this domestic season will be crucial for him.
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