Well, IPL has been home to some of the biggest stars around the world - be it MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli or Chris Gayle. However, apart from these names, there are several ones that you might have missed, and today, we give you five players that you surely do not remember or know that played in the IPL.
Summer in India has become quite synonymous with the Indian Premier League. With that, many household names have taken part in the prestigious T20 league. While some have been on the successful side - be it MS Dhoni, Brendon McCullum - the others have not been so successful. But this has not stopped these players from continuing their form into every edition of the tournament.
However, there are some players, some stars, who have seen the light at the end of the tunnel without getting much of the limelight. The most common ones amongst those players being Cheteshwar Pujara, Aakash Chopra, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. Away from them, there are some stars, who we, the IPL fans, seem to have forgotten about.
The now-turned Australian coach, Justin Langer was part of the Indian Premier League, playing for the Rajasthan Royals. While most famously known for his coaching role and his time with the Australian national team, Langer’s only appearance in the Royals colour came in 2009. It was in the British Asian Cup, where surprisingly, Langer walked out to bat in at No.5, scoring a single run. However, when his chance to represent the franchise in the IPL came calling, the match was unfortunately called off. It was all because of the ‘rains,’ that we did not witness what Langer could do in the IPL.
Interestingly, he played for the Royals under his Australian colleague and friend, Shane Warne. However, opportunities did not come in as much as he would have hoped. Incidentally, his last T20 experience too came in India, during his time with Somerset in the Champions League T20. Surprisingly or not, it came against familiar names in New South Wales, where he got out, scoring five runs, including a boundary against Stuart Clark. Recently, he was seen in the Australian colours as the coach of the national team, including in the Amazon documentary ‘The Test,’ which showed his coaching tenacity.
On the same note, Sridharan Sriram, in recent times, famous for his role in Australia’s miraculous escape against Pakistan in UAE, too, played his part in the IPL. More famously, everyone recognises him from during his time with the Delhi Capitals, where he was seen on the near side of the dugouts. However, in the IPL, he has played two games, one with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the other, Delhi Daredevils. During his stay with the Bengaluru-based franchise, he was teammates with some of the biggest names in Indian cricket - Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. Another interesting aspect was that he batted ahead of now-Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
In the game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chinnaswamy stadium, he scored a 29-ball 27, scoring three boundaries in the process. While he did open the bowling, he went wicketless on the night for the Challengers. During his second stint in the IPL, he played for the (then) Delhi Daredevils side, led by James Hopes. His bowling was once again taken to the cleaners. His batting, though, was far worse, scoring a seven-ball four runs before calling it a day in the coloured jersey.
Another left-arm orthodox on the list, Sunil Joshi too took his part in the IPL. While now spending his time as India’s chief selector, picking national squads, he was once part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the first season of the tournament. While things in the trophy cabinet have been largely unaffected, Joshi played part in the first IPL game, where Brendon McCullum took the Bangalore bowlers to all parts. We all do remember how the likes of Jacques Kallis, Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan went for cleaners, but in middle of all this chaos, there was Joshi, who was conceding under nine runs an over. Yes, it is the same game where Brendon scored a 158 and KKR, 222 at the end of 20 overs.
However, his fun with the RCB side lasted only four games, where he only managed to pick a solitary wicket. His time in the IPL came to an end in 2011, after two years of being in contract with the Bangalore-based franchise. With the bat, Joshi could only manage six runs throughout his four-match IPL career.
The Australian captain, who recently led the side to a victory against New Zealand at home, was part of the cash-rich league for Pune Warriors India. His stint was, however, largely superseded by the presence of some the big names in the Australian team - Michael Clarke, Aaron Finch, Callum Ferguson and Steve Smith. But despite all of this, Paine was part of the playing XI twice during his one-year stint at the club. In the two appearances, Paine scored 10 runs in total, including scoring eight in one game and two in the other. With Robin Uthappa behind the sticks, his opportunity was limited and that was the end of his stint in the IPL.
Despite all the star-studded names, the franchise was the wooden-spoon winner in 2012 while managing to finish higher than that in 2011 and 2013. However, just as Paine’s career in the IPL, the franchise also did not do so well, both of them crashing out of the competition sooner or later. Despite having a solid T20 career back in Australia, Paine could not capitalise with his stint in Pune.
Shockingly or not, Jaffer was once part of the IPL party, that too for the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise. It really looks like a trend now, with veteran players more often than not playing for the Bengaluru-based franchise. However, unlike some of the previous ones on the list, Jaffer did a far better job. The right-hander scored 130 runs in eight games, with the runs coming at an average of 16.25. While his average does look bad, his strike-rate, not so much, scoring at 107.4, including a fifty under his belt. It looks like Jaffer has played more games in the IPL than he has for India, in the ODI format.
While that was the last of Jaffer in the IPL, the bad run continued for RCB, going trophy-less in the next 11 seasons. The 42-year-old recently called time on a glorious domestic career, where he scored thousands of runs for Mumbai and Vidarbha. But in the IPL, his run has been rather lacklustre. He has since been named the batting coach for Kings XI Punjab franchise for the upcoming season, where he will work alongside his test-compatriot Anil Kumble.