The franchises have done a grave mistake of picking the youngsters and putting them in a spot of bother, with one season one chance kind of an opportunity. With the 2020 Mega Auction around the corner, picking the youngsters and banking on them would only be an issue for the franchises.
What is common between Sarfraz Khan, Ashok Menaria, Pawan Negi and Unmukt Chand? They have all failed to perform in the Indian Premier League after having a big buyer or after a franchise have utilised on a retention slot/RTM card on the youngsters. It is not just their fault, with the price tag having a large say on whether they were successful or not in the league.
While having youngsters is a good thing for the franchises, having them one season ahead of the Mega Auction is highly disastrous. Why you may ask? One, it gives the youngsters one season, yes one season to showcase their skills in a tournament filled with T20 superstars. When T20 veterans such as David Willey, Jason Roy and Angelo Mathews could not retain their place in any franchise, how would one season be enough to judge if a youngster is good enough to be a pick?
That is not the only issue that we are dwelling with, the Mega Auction means hitting the reset button for the franchises. Imagine a franchise like the Mumbai Indians, who would they ideally retain if they just had three choices. Of course, they would go with a Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and their skipper Rohit Sharma. What would Prince Balwant Rai, Digvijay Deshmukh, Mohsin Khan or an Anmolpreet Singh do in the one season where they do not even get an opportunity to showcase what they are capable of.
Let us rewind the clock and see some of the youngsters who rarely have been given the chance to prove. Chand was a highly touted player, with franchises chasing for the youngster. In 2015, playing in his fifth season, the former Indian U-19 skipper scored 102 runs in six innings at an average of 20.4, which is not too negative of a return. However, it was the last time that Chand was seen in the IPL in an advanced role. Another prime example would be former Royals’ wunderkind Ashok Menaria. Menaria played in an IPL game in 2013, after having two impressive stints with the Royals was nowhere to be seen in the 2014 IPL and thus ended his career in the IPL.
Imagine if that could happen in 2013-14 season, the viewership and the stakes in play have grown monumentally, so much that players just get one year to prove their worth. The youngsters could not be in line for retention with most of the teams having their core set of players. Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have majorly banked on the Indian youngsters to perform for them in the past have not retained a single Indian youngster before the auction. In the auction too, they used the RTM on Deepak Hooda, who they released ahead of the bidding.
On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals on their return to the Indian Premier League too went away from their strategy of creating a free-flow relationship with the Indian domestic cricket, instead of picking tried and tested players. The Royals have signed Anuj Rawat, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi and Yashasvi Jaiswal. With Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson already part of the playing XI, would Anuj Rawat even get an opportunity to play? I bet not, as the youngster would spend most of his time at the club on the bench.
What about Yashasvi Jaiswal, they would give him the one-season to prove his worth? Not exactly, with Jaiswal, the Royals would be tempted to give some time, however, with players like Robin Uthappa waiting in the wings would it not put pressure on the youngster. And, a price tag of 2.4 crores would not add more value to Jaiswal for his Royals stint. Two bad games and he would be out of the lineup, unlike a Robin Uthappa who even after a dismal start to last season was still a starter. On the other hand, look at Chennai Super Kings and their picks with most of the players likely to play their last season for the franchise. They did pick up the youngster Sai Kishore, however, even if Sai Kishore gets the opportunity, the Super Kings won't have retained him using RTM or otherwise too. That is where the franchises have clearly failed in this auction.
Out of the 62 players sold in the auction, 22 players are youngsters across the board for all franchises. How many of the 22 will we see being retained next season, that is the question. With 2020, BCCI is very well going to press the ‘reset’ button and just like that the youngsters go out ‘bowing’ out of the IPL without getting the dues.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi