IPL 2018: With Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 gearing up for yet another glittering season, fans are quite curious about who will get contracts and even more so, who will get rejected. Auction will be held on January 27, 28. In the recently announced IPL retention list 2018, owners of different teams came out with rather surprising picks for their squad. However, the bombshell was dropped by Kings XI Punjab who decided to only retain Axar Patel and had let go players like Hashim Amla and Glenn Maxwell. Another eye-opening retention announcement was by Sunrisers Hyderabad. The South Indian team only retained their captain David Warner and star bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Hyderabad had let go of one of the best T20 batsman- Shikhar Dhawan. However, there are many speculations of big players going unsold. Let’s have a look at top 5 players who were once sold for millions but might go unsold this year.
1- Yuvraj Singh:
Arguably India’s best limited-overs all-rounder in recent years, Yuvraj Singh has time and again risen to the occasion on the biggest of stages. From captaining IPL teams and being an integral part of India’s successful 2007 World T20 campaign to helping the Men in Blue lift the 50-over World Cup, Yuvi has achieved it all. Even off the field Yuvraj is a true fighter – a trait best illustrated by his successful battle against cancer. Yuvraj played for Kings XI Punjab and Pune Warriors India in the IPL before being snapped up by RCB in the 2014 Player Auction for a whopping 14 crores. He emerged as the highest paid player in the auction. The all-rounder broke that record at the 2015 Player Auction when he was snapped up by DD for 16 crores. Sunrisers acquired his services in 2016. However, his absence from the national squad might be a big blow his chances of making a comeback in the IPL.
2- Irfan Pathan:
A swing bowler and a handy batsman who can fit into a variety of roles, the younger of the Pathan brothers – Irfan – is a gift to any captain or coach. Primarily considered a lower-order batsman, coaches have even used him at the top of the line-up and as a pinch-hitter. His rapid rise to the top and his consistent contributions with bat and ball in the early part of his career led to a lot of comparisons. However, excessive pressure, an unclear role within the team and too many changes to his bowling action resulted in the Baroda all-rounder losing his place in the national side. Injuries only added to his woes. Although he managed to make his way into the league last year, Pathan was unsold during the auctions. Will he be sold this year?
3- Harbhajan Singh:
Harbhajan Singh led the Mumbai Indians to their first Twenty20 title in 2011 when they beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the Champions League T20. The Turbanator was the preferred spinner in India’s 2011 ICC World Cup-winning team too. A key component of the Mumbai Indians side, Harbhajan has been with the team right from the start. He understands the setup really well and his vast IPL experience of having played over 100 games is a big plus. But however, he has not been able to make his way into the team and which will surely affect his chances of getting sold at the auctions.
4- Ishant Sharma:
It was a big shocker for many when Ishant Sharma went unsold at the IPL 2017 auctions. However, he made a comeback after he was picked up by Kings XI Punjab to strengthen their bowling attack. Sadly, the Delhi boy could take any wicket and ended the IPL 2017 edition wicket less. Ever since then he has been struggling to do it right and although he has got calls time and again from India team, Sharma has yet to showcase himself.
5- Gautam Gambhir:
Captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir is one of the mainstays of the KKR batting unit. A big-match player with rich international experience, Gambhir brings a lot to the table when it comes to batting skills and leading from the front. Having played for Delhi Daredevils in the first three seasons, Gambhir was snapped up by KKR at the 2011 IPL Player Auction for a record-smashing USD 2.5 million. He vindicated their decision when he captained KKR to their first top-four finish in IPL 2011 and then led them to the IPL title in 2012. Ahead of the 2014 Player Auction, Gambhir was retained by the Kolkata franchise as the captain of the team. However, he is now 38-year-old now, and KKR would like to let him go and would eye for young horses who would give service to KKR for next three years.