The bazaar of cash-rich Indian Premier League is full of many a million dollar tales. From Yuvraj Singh being reduced to his basic price of ₹2 crore within two years of getting then an IPL record ₹16 crore deal from Delhi Daredevils in 2016, to Kolkata Knight Riders letting their two-time winning captain Gautam Gambhir go under the hammer.
Going into its 11th season, the IPL has also been a reason for the script of many fairytales, with have landed players contracts worth a lifetime in monetary values. Insidesport.co brings to its readers five heart warming stories which cannot go unnoticed even in the billion dollar market that IPL has become.
SECURITY GUARD TO LAKHPATI CRICKETER
Jammu & Kashmir cricketer Manzoor Ahmad Dar till date would serve as a security guard at night for ₹100 per day to pursue his cricketing dream. A ₹20 lakh contract from Kings XI Punjab has come to the 24-year-old as a fortune worth a lifetime in monetary terms. And, this is just the beginning of better days ahead.
The amount Dar would get by serving the KXIP is no less than a fortune for this son of a labourer, who had to stop his studies to take up a security guard’s job then for ₹60 a day for supporting the family financially.
“Today is the biggest day of my life,” Dar has told media following his ₹20 lakh acquisition by the Punjab IPL franchisee. “It is difficult to translate my happiness in words”.
The 6-foot-2-inch cricketer had dreams bigger than his built. Dar, who has started playing cricket with friends from his non-descript Suganpora Ganastan village in Sumbal town of Kashmir, soon started hogging limelight for his big-hitting prowess in local tournaments.
In Srinagar, Dar would work as a guide at an automobile showroom at night and would practice cricket to hone his skills during the day. More often than not, challenging his financial challenges, he would travel by cycle to pursue his cricketing dreams.
A call from the State team for the Vijay Hazare Trophy was the turning point in Dar’s cricketing career. Destiny now seems to have opened the doors for him to realize bigger goals.
₹20 LAKH WAS A FORTUNE – HE GETS 80
Uttar Pradesh all-rounder Rinku Singh who once was taken to do mopping and sweeping job so that he could support his family, is an IPL Knight now for a ₹80 lakh bid by Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla-owned Kolkata Knight Riders.
Rinku’s father Khanchandra delivers LPG cylinders from an LPG gas agency in Lucknow, where he lives with parents and four siblings in two tiny rooms within the gas agency’s storage compound. The 20-year-old though had started supporting his family financially with the meagre allowances and fee he would get for representing the State at the junior level. But all the money would go towards clearing the family debts. He had also won a motorbike for being the best player at a tournament in Delhi, which he gave to his father for distributing the heavy gas cylinders.
At the IPL auction in Bengaluru, Rinku was expecting a deal worth his base price ₹20 lakh. An intense bidding war between Mumbai Indians and KKR, he managed to pocket ₹80 lakh. “Socha tha 20 lakh mein jaoonga, (thought I would get 20 lakhs), but I was picked up for 80! The first thought that came to the mind was that I can contribute in my big brother’s wedding, and save up something for my sister’s wedding too. Aur ek achhe se ghar mein shift ho jaoonga (and I will move into a good house),” Rinku had told Indian Express after the IPL auction.
In nine Ranji Trophy games, Rinku has averaged 49 to score 692. He spent the last IPL season on the Kings XI bench. The fortune seemed to have swung his way when he struck a 31-ball 91 runs during Mumbai Indians’ selection trial. It was this blitzkrieg which has led to the intense bidding for the all-rounder.
₹3 CRORE DEAL FOR DAILY-WAGER’S SON
Thangarasu Natarajan was a name unheard of in cricket circles outside Tamil Nadu. The boy from Chinnappampatti village near Salem, Tamil Nadu, had made his first impression while playing Tamil Nadu Premier League.
His father was a daily-wage worker and his mother would sell meat to support the family, before Natarajan got a ₹3 crore deal from Kings XI Punjab for the 2018 season. “There was very little money. As the eldest of five siblings, I have a brother and three sisters, there was a lot of responsibility on me,” he had said after his IPL acquisition.
The TNPL provided a platform for Natarajan to show the world, and more importantly the franchise owners the skills he possessed. However, if a player is not regular on the circuit, such performances fade into oblivion like a cameo.
However, Natarajan had grabbed the opportunity with a display of his lethal yorkers – a skill most apt for fast bowlers in T20 cricket.
But for the ₹3 crore contract from the KXIP and his cricketing abilities, by his own admission, Natarajan would have become a daily wage worker.
WHEN AUTO DRIVER’S SON GETS ₹2.6 CR
Mohammed Siraj’s rise as a seamer was remarkably swift. The son of an autorickshaw driver in Hyderabad, he only began playing the game in class seven. It was in 2015 that he first bowled with a cricket ball. In 2017, he bagged an IPL contract worth INR 2.6 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad from a base price of ₹20 lakh.
Shiraj has later donned India colours for T20 International during the he home series against New Zealand.
Sturdy and athletic, Siraj has a deceptive run-up, which initially suggests that a left-arm bowler is steaming in. He is, however, a right-armer and by his own admission is a natural at getting the ball to swing into the right-hander. He has always been able to bowl a pretty quick bouncer though, something that had impressed his captain David Warner and team mentor VVS Laxman in the Sunrisers Hyderabad set-up.
The Hyderabad speedster had returned to the 2018 IPL auction with a base price tag of ₹1 crore, where he yet again grabbed an identical ₹2.6 crore deal – this time from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
CROREPATI SON OF A FACTORY WORKER
Nathu Singh is a rag to riches story form the IPL 2016 auction. The tryst with cricket for this underprivileged son of a factory worker had started off with the tennis ball in the bylanes of Murlipura locality of Jaipur.
The talent, backed with a strong resolve and hard work, made steady progress to get a place in the Rajasthan Ranji Trophy squad. The long years of toil had first paid off as the Rajasthan pacer caught the attention of the Indian cricket fraternity with a seven-wicket haul in his Ranji Trophy debut in 2015.
The fortune swung his way with a windfall of ₹3.2 crore at the 2016 IPL auction, with the bid from the Reliance Group-owned franchisees.