It is the Indian Premier League that generates the maximum amount of excitement over any other cricketing league in the world. Every auction held ahead of the T20 carnival keeps the millions and billions of fans at the edge of their seats. Similar to all the auctions, the upcoming event commencing on the 19th of December may also likely live up to its hype. The list of the players to go under the hammer have already been released, and all the franchises may already have a blueprint of who all to go after.
Over the years, franchise cricket has entertained all the players, regardless of what age group they belong to. Much like how young blood is required to thrive in such an exhilarating format of cricket, a team also needs a blend of experience to go with it.
Furthermore, the amount of talent, dedication, and commitment on any day triumph the age of a player. The list for the forthcoming auction of the IPL contains a handful of players who are older than most, but who may also attract mighty bids due to their exploits.
We take a look at five of the oldest players in the upcoming auction:
Jeevan Mendis is one of the few players that many may not remember was part of Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the year 2013. His signing came on the back of his whirlwind knock in the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. Along with an offer from Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, the Sri Lankan all-rounder also found a taker in Sydney Sixers from the Big Bash League that year.
The veteran made his debut for Sri Lanka back in the year 2011 but has played less than 100 games across formats for the national team. The emergence of all-rounders like Thissara Perera, Angelo Mathews, and Seekkuge Prasanna dented his chances of establishing a regular spot. He last played for Sri Lanka in 2018 against Bangladesh in a T20 international.
The Colombo-born all-rounder’s age is currently 36 years and 334 days. Having played only three games in his previous stint with the T20 league and making no glaring impact, he is unlikely to find any bidders. He has set his base price at INR 50 lakh.
A few seasons ago, Yusuf Pathan was known as one of the most destructive batsmen in the tournament. If it wasn’t for him, Rajasthan Royals might not have won the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League. He shifted his base to the Kolkata Knight Riders after staying with Rajasthan for three years.
The Baroda batsman kept displaying indifferent performances; however, his quick runs at the lower order were more than handy. Pathan played a crucial role in Kolkata‘s second title triumph in the year 2014 by contributing 36 runs off 22 balls during their run-chase of 200. However, his outing in the previous season in which he could manage only 40 runs in 10 games, led the Kolkata Knight Riders to pull the plug on him.
Being one of the most experienced players in the tournament’s history, the veteran may find takers, if not bidding heavily. Having a base price of INR 1 crore, Yusuf Pathan’s present age is 37 years and 28 days.
Ben Laughlin wasn’t the most impressive of the fast bowlers that Australia produced, but neither did he failed gloriously. The Victorian seamer made his debut for Australia in a T20 international against South Africa in 2009. While his international career of five ODIs and three T20Is couldn’t take off any further from there on, he continued to churn superior numbers in domestic T20 cricket.
Laughlin has played for Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament history with 95 wickets. The veteran Aussie seamer last played in IPL in 2018 for Rajasthan Royals, picking up nine scalps in seven matches. However, he found no takers in the previous IPL auction.
At the age of 37 years and 73 days, it is unclear whether Laughlin can find any takers in the lucrative auction. The slow and low wickets in sub-continent could provoke the franchises to give him another crack at a modest price of INR 50 lakh.
The Pakistan-born leg spinner made a move to the Australian shores in the year 2010, seeking refuge from the extremists in his native country. Three years later, Fawad Ahmed was playing his first game for Australia against England in an ODI in Southampton. Sadly, in his limited opportunities, the leggie couldn’t make a long-lasting impact. He has three wickets from two T20Is and as many wickets from three ODIs.
A year ago Fawad Ahmed expressed his wish to feature for Australia in the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. However, the five-time champions instead opted for Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa. He continues to play first-class cricket for Victoria and in the Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder.
Having gone unsold in every auction so far, it is obscure as to whether any franchise will go after him. At a base price of INR 50 lakh, the 37-year old(37 years and 313 days), he may turn out as a surprise package.
It is only once in a while that we come across a cricketer who is approaching his 50s and continues to have the same hunger. It is none other than Pravin Tambe this time, who at 48, will be the oldest player who enters the auction. The leg-break bowler has played for three franchises in the IPL namely Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Lions, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The veteran’s best season came for Rajasthan Royals in 2014 when he picked up 15 wickets in 13 games at an economy rate of 7.27. Contrary to that, his performance in the next two seasons wasn’t satisfactory as he took only seven and five wickets at an average of 38 and 28.60 respectively.
Having played his last season three years ago and not playing any competitive game in the recent past, it is unlikely that any franchise even with a base price of INR 20 lakh would splash their money on him.
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