Afghan Prodigy & UAE’s Hat-Trick Star Among 405 Shortlisted for 2023 IPL Auction
IPL 2023 Auction: Beyond usual suspects like Ben Stokes, some interesting names could make headlines in the auction.
The Quint DAILY
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One glance at the IPL 2023 auction shortlist will give a fair idea about the players from the bunch of 405 who could spark intense bidding wars, come 23 December. The likes of Ben Stokes, Cameron Green and Sam Curran are likely to be on the radar of most teams.
However, positioned slightly away from the limelight are players with peculiarly interesting stories, who might make the headlines if they manage to find a team.
We will take a look at ten such interesting names in this article:
1. Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar
At 15, while most of his contemporaries are yet to make their mark in the domestic circuit, Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar stands on the verge of signing an IPL contract.
The Afghan wonderkid is of the mould his nation is universally famous for – vicious, often incomprehensible spin.
Ghazanfar is currently based in Kabul, where he plays at the Mirza Mohammad Katawazai Cricket Centre. The youngster has represented Mis Ainak Knights in Afghanistan’s Sphazeega Cricket League and also has overseas experience, having played in the Pakistan Junior League.
2. Amit Mishra
Though they both are spinners, Amit Mishra is at the opposite end of the age spectrum as compared to Ghazanfar. The veteran Indian is the oldest among the 405 players to have made the shortlist, and also the only player in his forties.
Having represented Deccan Chargers, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past, Mishra has racked up 154 IPL appearances, where he scalped 166 wickets. With many teams looking to add an experienced spinner to their arsenal, it will not remotely be a surprise if Mishra manages to find a new team at 40.
3. Karthik Meiyappan
Karthik Meiyappan, the 22-year-old leg-spinner from the United Arab Emirates engraved his name on books of cricket history a couple of months ago, when he became the first UAE player to take a hat-trick in an ICC T20 World Cup match.
Now, the Chennai-born player is eyeing bigger targets, one of which is an opportunity to show his mettle in the IPL. He is the only UAE player to have made the shortlist, which suggests there could be a few teams interested in acquiring his services.
4. David Wiese
It is not often that players from associate nations have a gigantic base price. David Wiese, however, is not a cricketer to fit into the presumed notions, as he will be the only associate player with an eight-figure starting price to go under the hammer on 23 December.
The Namibian all-rounder has represented Royal Challengers Bangalore previously. While Wiese has not been a part of the IPL since 2016, his impressive performance in the T20 World Cup might help him find a buyer.
5. Jaydev Unadkat, Manish Pandey & Ishant Sharma
Our fifth mention is not one particular player, but a trio that has travelled all across the country when it comes to IPL. Pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Ishant Sharma, alongside batter Manish Pandey, are only the three players from the shortlisted ones who have already played for six different franchises and are now looking to bag their seventh contract.
Having started his career with Kolkata Knight Riders back in 2010, Unadkat was a part of the Mumbai Indians team in 2022. Manish Pandey, KKR’s star from the title-winning campaign in 2014, represented Lucknow Super Giants last time out. Ishant Sharma, on the other hand, represented Delhi Capitals last season.
6. Sikandar Raza
Zimbabwean all-rounder, Sikandar Raza has played franchise cricket in a plethora of countries. Be it in Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies or even Nepal, the 36-year-old has often proved to be an asset for his team owing to his all-round contributions.
Yet, for one reason or another, the stars never really aligned for him in the IPL. It could certainly change now, as he is coming into the auction on the back of a spectacular show in the T20 World Cup. Raza happens to be the oldest shortlisted player with no prior IPL experience.
7. Waseem Bashir Khanday
It is not long ago that a pacer hailing for Jammu & Kashmir lit up the stage in IPL with his scintillating bowling speed. Umran Malik, the Sunrisers Hyderabad star, now finds himself in the Indian team, but we could see the cycle being continued with the valley producing another talented speedster.
Waseem Bashir Khanday, a 20-year-old bowler from Pahalgam, is said to bowl at around 145 kmph consistently. He was called up for trails by Kolkata Knight Riders and might have a great chance of bagging a contract.
8. Akash Singh
Cricketers from Nagaland playing in the IPL is not a frequent occurrence. The likes of Stuart Binny, Abu Nechim Ahmed and Abrar Kazi have been a part of IPL previously, but not while they were playing for Nagaland. This time, however, the North Eastern state could have a representative in Akash Singh.
A part of the Indian U19 team for the 2020 U19 World Cup, Singh hails from Rajasthan and was also a part of Rajasthan Royals in 2020. However, to break out of stagnation, the youngster switched allegiance to Nagaland earlier this year.
9. Sheldon Jackson
Sheldon Jackson first made it to the IPL back in 2009, and since then, he has consistently been in and out of the competition. But while he was thought of as a prime candidate for the Indian team a decade ago, Jackson now is the oldest uncapped player to be shortlisted.
Now at 36, the Saurashtra player offers the franchises vast experience in the domestic circuit, and also experience in IPL, having played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore previously. Understandably, chances are that he will find a new team.
10. Angelo Mathews
Our last mention happens to be an omission, as Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews could not make the cut for the auction shortlist. Interestingly, he had set his base price at Rs 2 crores, but could not find any interest from a franchise to appear on the list.
While cricket and certainty do not go hand-in-hand, it could be said that the omission signifies curtains to Mathews’ fairly decent IPL career, where he played 49 matches for three franchises, scoring 724 runs and picking up 27 wickets.
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