Sons of a farmer and a driver and a boy who sold panipuris and slept in a tent for three years have become millionaires overnight in the IPL auction. Kartik Tyagi, whose father is a small-time farmer, went for Rs 1.3 crores, Priyam Garg, whose father is a driver now and who used to sell milk door to door once, went for Rs 1.9 crores and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who spent his formative years as cricketer in a tent, bagged Rs 2.40 crores.
On the eve of their departure to South Africa, the India U-19 team were glued to the IPL auction on the televisions in a suburban Mumbai hotel. Ravi Bishnoi, a leg spinner from the team, went to Kings XI Punjab for two crores and Jaiswal and Tyagi were picked up by Rajasthan Royals, while Garg, the India u-19 captain, would play for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“My father is a small-time farmer from Hapur. Many of my team mates have never heard about this name before. I was watching on TV when the auction was on, I’m very happy,” an elated UP medium pacer Tyagi says. “The money part I will let my papa decide. I don’t have much idea about it.’
Tyagi wanted to be a batsman when he started the game but became a bowler. “My father dreamt that I will be a cricketer one day. I wanted to be a batsman but bowling in the nets made me a bowler. Now I feel, good I became bowler, otherwise who knows whether I would have played for India?”
Tyagi suffered a stress fracture on his back and didn’t even realise the full import of it for two years. Until it started to affect his game. His father then took loans to get the treatment done.
“We come from a very humble background. And it was a big financial strain, I am sure, but somehow my father took loans and managed my treatment,” Tyagi says.
Windfall before Cup
Meanwhile, Jaiswal is at a few miles from his hotel at a ground where his cricket had flourished. He had come to meet his coach Jwala Singh before the team’s departure to South Africa on Friday. In a month’s time, India would be playing their first U-19 World Cup game.
For three years, Jaiswal had lived in a tent at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan ground after a relative had told the 11-year old that he can’t sleep in their diary shop anymore. He sold pani-puris during Ramlila, helped ferry-walahs to sell fruits but it was the cricket dream that had really sustained him.
Yashasvi lives with his coach these days and people have lined up there to congratulate him. His parents live in Uttar Pradesh. “I am yet to speak to my family, actually,” Yashasvi says at the ground just after the auction. “I don’t know how to react. I was at the ground when a few media people turned up and I watched my auction on their phone. I just wanted to play and get picked by any team. I didn’t ever think about money. As at the moment, it doesn’t matter to me, my game is important,” Jaiswal told The Indian Express.
“I am just happy to be part of Rajasthan Royals team. Everyone has come to wish me. As far as money is concerned, I don’t know how I will spent, I have left it to my coach,” he added.
The U-19 captain Garg recalled the days when his father used to sell milk door to door during the day and would slip a Rs 10 note to him at night so that he could travel to Meerut for cricket nets.
“My father has done all sorts of odd jobs, from selling milk, to driving school vans, to loading goods, just to see me become a cricketer one day. He took me to Meerut and made sure that I get into a decent academy,” Garg had told this newspaper.
His father now works as a driver in the health department. There were days when money was tight and Garg would travel on the roof of buses to pursue his dream. During those lonely journeys, the budding batsman would wonder whether he would ever make enough money to help his father make both ends meet. On Thursday evening, Garg became a crorepati.
Unadkat stays relevant
Jaydev Unadkat’s value dropped from Rs 8.4 crore at the last auction to Rs 3 crore this term. Rajasthan Royals bought him back but probably they were a bit more cautious after the low output from the left-arm seamer in the 2019 IPL. Just 10 wickets from 11 matches and an economy rate north of 10 didn’t offer value for money. So Royals played it smart. They offloaded Unadkat during the trading window and then brought him back to the fold at a much lower price. A scarcity of quality left-arm pacers kept the 28-year-old relevant.
Surprises on offer
Every IPL auction throws up a few surprises. This one, too, was no different. Chennai Super Kings forking out Rs 6.75 crore raised many an eyebrow. Kolkata Knight Riders offloaded the veteran leg-spinner during the trading window. Then again, MS Dhoni has the ability to make the old guards fire. Harbhajan Singh would attest. KKR spending Rs 4 core for Varun Chakravarthy apparently defied logic. Kings XI had spent a staggering Rs 8.4 crore for the mystery spinner last term but he played just one game. Maybe, the two-time IPL champions wanted to have a back-up option after releasing Chawla.
14-yr-old to 48-yr-old
Fourteen-year-old Afghanistan chinaman bowler Noor Ahmad features in the auction list. History, however, wasn’t created in Kolkata, as franchises didn’t bid for him. However, IPL veteran Pravin Tambe, who at 48 was the oldest player in the list, was snapped up by Kolkata for his base price of Rs 20 lakh. “I still play with a mindset like I am a 20-year-old young,” Tambe, who has an 18-year-old son, was quoted as saying by PTI. “I will bring all my experience and energy to the team. And that positivity. I know that I can bring that, even if I’m with them not playing,” said the leg-spinner.
“People say many things but I keep doing my job and put in a lot of hardwork. I will like to do well in whatever role given to me be it in fielding or bowling. It’s not to prove anything. If that was the case, I could not have played so long. I’m really excited to play for them,” Tambe, who works as sports teacher at DY Patil, said.
Jammu teen for SRH
J&K all-rounder Abdul Samad had a lot to cheer about on Thursday. The 18-year-old hit an invaluable 78 against Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy and was later trending on twitter within minutes of him being snapped up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 20lakh. The hard-hitting middle-order batsman who also bowls leg-spin hails from Kala Kot near Jammu. The son of a physical education teacher broke into the J&K U-19 squad last year. Impressed with his all-round skills, captain Pervez Rasool fast-tracked him into the senior team this year. He has not looked back since.
Sunrisers Hyderabad stacked their team with five uncapped Indian players — Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Sandeep Bavanaka, Sanjay Yadav and Abdul Samad. In total they spent Rs 3.4 crore for the youngsters. —Express News Service