As the auction day for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 nears, the excitement level just keeps building up. The fact that a total of 971 players from across the globe have registered for the 73 slots available proves how much the high-profile, cash-rich league is in demand.
Over the years, the IPL has made overnight heroes out of relatively unknown cricketers from India. Fame in the day and age of T20 can be quite fickle though. While the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah have progressed from the IPL level to make it big on the international stage, many others faltered after reaching there. A few couldn’t even get as far, and stumbled away from the limelight in the same tournament that brought them recognition.
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With another round of the bidding war, the IPL 2020 auction, all set to be held in Kolkata on December 19, we look back at 3 forgotten stars of the tournament from previous years.
#3 Manpreet Gony
One of the early shining stars of the IPL, the well-built Manpreet Gony was an instant success as a pace bowler for Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008. In fact, he was the leading wicket-taker for CSK with 17 wickets, his hit-the-deck style unsettling a lot of batsmen.
The impressive performances even earned him an India debut the same year, as he turned out in 2 matches of the Asia Cup. He had figures of 0/11 against Hong Kong and 2 for 65 against Bangladesh, the latter turning out to be his last international appearance.
At the IPL level as well, Gony could not replicate his performance from his maiden season. Playing for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2013, he smashed 42 off 18 balls at a strike rate of 233. That was about it though. He was picked by Gujarat Lions in 2017, but played only one match, his last appearance in the tournament.
#2 Paul Valthaty
Plucked out of nowhere by Kings XI Punjab in 2011, Paul Valthaty took IPL by storm like few have. His moment in the sun came when, in a game against Chennai Super Kings, the opener blasted 120 not out in 63 balls as KXIP chased down 189 with ease. The defending champions were stunned by the unexpected assault.
To prove that his performance against CSK was no flash in the pan, Valthaty then put in a superlative all-round display against Deccan Chargers. He claimed 4 for 29 with the ball, and then smashed 75 off 47 balls with the bat as Chargers wee defeated by 8 wickets.
Valthaty finished the season with 463 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 136.98 with one hundred and two fifties. Who would have thought back then that the smashing cricketer would feature in only 7 more IPL matches, and score only a total of 36 more runs. Sadly for Valthaty, that’s exactly how things turned out. He was not picked again after playing just one match in the 2013 season.
After fading away from the limelight, he now plays quietly for Air India, his employer, away from all the glitz and glamour.
#1 Manvinder Bisla
Manvinder Bisla blazed away to 89 from 48 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders clinched the 2012 IPL final against Chennai Super Kings with a comfortable 5-wicket win. The innings raised hopes that he would go on to become a T20 star for India in the years to come. Cut to 2019, he is a forgotten name even on the IPL circuit.
After an impressive showing in 2012, the Haryana player continued the good work for KKR in 2013 with 255 runs including two fifties. His smashed his IPL best of 92 off 61 against CSK. The innings featured 14 fours and 2 sixes, but Bisla’s spunk was in vain as KKR fell short by 14 runs in a high-scoring game.
Post the 2013 season, Bisla was never quite the same batsman. For the 2015 season, he was transferred by KKR to Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he finished his IPL career, featuring in just 2 games. He now tuns out for Goa in the domestic circuit.