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Thursday, December 05, 2019

One-season wonders in the IPL: Where are they now?

Here are the seven such players from the past 12 editions of the IPL who shone brightly, even if only for a while.

Written by Rahul Sadhu | Updated: December 2, 2019 6:22:18 pm
ipl 2019, indian premier league, ipl 2020, ipl one season wonder, ipl forgotten stars, paul valthaty, kamran khan, cricket, indian express Kamran Khan’s tale was a perfect story of rags to riches. (Express Archive Photo)

All teams in the Indian Premier League have benefitted from one-season wonders since the tournament began in 2008. These are players who lit up a season with exceptional performances, but burnt out all too quickly. However, they remain the players no one expected to have such a high impact on the game, and their performances generated a lot of excitement.

Here are the seven such players from the past 12 editions of the IPL who shone brightly, even if only for a while.

Paul Valthaty celebrates his century against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Paul Chandrashekar Valthaty: The explosive right-hander had an incredible breakthrough season with Kings XI Punjab in 2011. Opening the innings, Valthaty grabbed the limelight with a dazzling 120 not out off 63 balls against CSK. He ended the tournament the sixth highest run-scorer with 483 runs.

However, a poor season the next year saw him fall out of favour. His last match was in 2013 where he scored just 6 runs for KXIP.

After fading out from the IPL, the right-hander played for Air India’s cricket team, where he was employed under sports quota. He played in the T20 Mumbai League last season. He also spends his timecoaching at the Homeground Cricket Academy in Mumbai.

Swapnil Asnodkar was one of the key components under the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals. (Express Photo)

Swapnil Asnodkar: The diminutive batsman from Goa was one of the key batsmen under the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals, who won the first edition of the IPL in 2008. His opening partnerships with Graeme Smith worked wonders for the team. He scored 311 runs in the 9 innings, at an impressive average of 34.55 and strike-rate of 133.47. However, a poor run in the next season resulted in him fading out of the tournament.

Asnodkar was dropped from the Goa team last season. He continues to play club cricket and has said that he wishes to turn out for one of the new BCCI-affiliated teams.

Kamran Khan: It was a tale of rags to riches. The son of a woodcutter, Khan hailed from Mau in Uttar Pradesh, and came from a humble background. An impressive show at a suburban Twenty20 tournament in Mumbai earned him a contract with the Rajasthan Royals. A left-arm pacer with a sling action, Kamran troubled batsmen in his debut season in 2009.

However, his bowling action was called for chucking. Despite correcting his action, he could play only a few matches in 2011 for the now-defunct Pune Warriors. He never bagged a contract and went on to become a wheat farmer, something even former Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne commented on.

Kamran Khan works for Sahara now and is amused at the stories of poverty about him. “I have been living well all this while. I have a house in Andheri and my family owns 3-4 ponds breeding fish in the village. I drive a BMW. In fact, when people see my status messages and profile pictures with my car, they laugh at the stories of my poverty doing the rounds,” he said last year.

Manpreet Gony with Preity Zinta during IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Manpreet Gony: The tall seamer from Punjab made an immediate impact in 2008 when he played for CSK. In his debut season, he picked up 17 wickets at an economy rate of 7.38.

An India call-up followed, but a poor show in the first two matches against Hong Kong and Bangladesh saw his career decline. Gony was later picked by Kings XI Punjab in 2013, and he had one notable performance against KKR where a quickfire 42 off 18 balls earned him the man of the match award.

Gony retired from domestic cricket this year. He turned out alongside Yuvraj Singh in the Canada T20 League this year. He also put his name into the Bangladesh Premier League draft but was unpicked.

Manvinder Bisla: Bisla entered the IPL as a wicketkeeper-batsman in 2009 for the Deccan Chargers. However, his best performances came with the Kolkata Knight Riders where he played from 2011-14. His match-winning 89 off 48 balls helped KKR beat CSK in 2012 final.

However, his innings with KKR then came to an abrupt end. In 2015, he was bought by RCB, but was benched after two matches and remained unsold in 2016 and 2017.

Like Gony, Bisla has also offered his services to T10 and T20 franchises around the world but has found takers hard to come by.

Rahul Sharma: The tall leg-spinner began his IPL career with Deccan Chargers before shifting to Pune Warriors India. He made headlines after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in his debut season in 2011, and he went on to pick 13 wickets in 14 games. He was even called up to the national team, where he played four ODIs and two T20Is.

His last appearance at international level came against Sri Lanka in July 2012. However, his career was cut short after he was detained at a Mumbai party with South African cricketer Wayne Parnell and other celebrities, and he tested positive for narcotics.

Sharma has been playing inter-district matches in Punjab and is trying to make a comeback to the Punjab side in Indian domestic cricket.

Sudeep Tyagi during the practice session at Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi. (Express photo by RAVI KANOJIA)

Sudeep Tyagi: The lanky fast bowler from Uttar Pradesh created ripples in the domestic circuit with a 10 wicket haul on debut in 2009. He was touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, and was snapped up by CSK. Tyagi showed his potential in the 2009 edition of the IPL in South Africa, in which he memorably dismissed AB de Villiers. After that, he went on to play four ODIs for India, but things did not go according to plan.

He failed to find a spot in the CSK squad and was on the bench for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013.

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