Little-known Indian teenagers Prabh Simran Singh and Prayas Ray Barman attracted astonishing bids during the IPL auction to laugh their way to the bank on a day when superstar Dale Steyn went unsold and once a hot-property Yuvraj Singh struggled to find a buyer.
Punjab’s wicket keeper batsman Prabh Simran, all of 18, was taken by Preity Zinta owned Kings XI Punjab for Rs 4.80 crore while Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore shelled out Rs 1.5 crore for 16-year-old Barman, who is an all-rounder from Bengal.
Both the players had a base price of Rs 20 lakh.
In contrast Yuvraj was sold for Rs one crore by Mumbai Indians late in the day having got a deal of Rs 14 crore by the RCB in 2014.
The intense bidding for the two youngsters showed that the teams were willing to loosen purse strings for talent and not just the names.
Prab Simran has played only four List A matches and was part of the Indian team which finished a runner-up at the recent ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. The Punjab batsman idolises explosive Virender Sehwag. The attacking batsman scored 298 runs for his side in the Under-23 tournament.
In the Cooch Behar trophy in season 2017-18, he scored 547 runs for Punjab, hitting three centuries.
“I am glad I was picked by the Punjab side. I would give my best to win matches for my side and do well this season,” said Singh.
Barman, a leg-break bowler, is just nine Last A game old but was very impressive during the Vjjay Hazare Trophy.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Rasikh Salaam was picked at his base price of Rs 20 Lakh by Mumbai Indians. He is only third cricketer from Kashmir to have been picked by an IPL franchise.
“What an exciting moment to go through. I can’t control my emotions, a dream come true,” Dar, who hails from restive south Kashmir Kulgam district, said.
The right arm quick, who made his List A debut in Vijay Hazare trophy this year, had attended trials at Mumbai Indians in October.
Jammu and Kashmir Ranji captain Parvez Rasool was the first cricketer from the valley to feature in IPL when he was signed by now-disbanded Pune Warriors franchise. He was later picked by Sunrises Hyderabad but did not find any takers at the previous auction.
Manzoor Dar aka Pandav, who has been given the moniker for his monstrous hitting, became the second Kashmiri cricketer to be picked by an IPL franchise when he was signed by Kings XI Punjab. However, he did not get any game in the 2018 edition.