The IPL is just a few months away and already fans are agog with excitement. And why not? It is one of the biggest and probably the most popular T20 cricket league featuring all the top players of the world sans Pakistanis. The IPL is also full of rags to riches story – poor cricketers who have overnight become millionaires. Some have been fortunate enough to attract huge prices during the auctions on a regular basis while at times there are some who have just ‘one season’ wonders. But even then, the money they have earned would probably help them maintain a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle in the years to come.
Orissa Post looks at some of the really rags to riches story that have happened in the IPL.
Thangarasu Natarajan: The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer may have just fetched Rs 40 lakh in the recent IPL auctions. However, in the 2017 auctions, his life changed overnight. He had a base price of Rs 10 lakh and Kings XI Punjab shelled out a whopping Rs 3 crore to recruit him. What could have been better for a man, whose father was a daily wage earner in a sari factory at Salem in Tamil Nadu and mother a roadside snack seller. The auction completely changed Natarajan’s life. For someone who couldn’t even buy a cricket kit before 2018, life has taken a new meaning. Natarajan now owns his own flat at Salem. Performance-wise, the left-arm fast bowler is yet to deliver. He has just two wickets from six games that he has played so far.
Mohammed Siraj: The son of an auto-rickshaw driver in Hyderabad, fast bowler Mohammed Siraj did not bowl with a proper cricket ball till 2015. But when he did so, there was no stopping him. In the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season, he took 41 wickets and that prompted Sunrisers Hyderabad to buy him for Rs 2.60 crore. Life changed for a family who barely could earn Rs 300 per day. In the 2018 auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him for Rs 2.20 crore and so Siraj in the real sense of the word is a crorepati. Cricket has given him enough now to have a comfortable sustenance for the rest of his life. In 26 IPL matches so far, Siraj has taken 28 wickets and has the uncanny ability to produce a breakthrough at the crucial juncture.
Rinku Singh: His story is inspiring too. This Uttar Pradesh batsman made his IPL debut for KXIP in the 2017 IPL. Spotting talent, Kolkata Knight Riders picked him up during the 2018 auctions at Rs 80 lakh. This certainly was a huge amount considering Rinku’s father Khanchandra worked then as a delivery man of LPG cylinders. One of his brothers still drives an auto while another used to be a peon at a coaching centre. As kid, Rinku faced tremendous odds while playing cricket, but never gave up on his dream. The result today is there for everyone to see. It is due to Rinku’s efforts his family is leading a comparatively comfortable life than what they did in the past.
Nathu Singh: Well his name may be a thing of the past now, but this Rajasthan pacer has probably stashed up enough wealth to last him a lifetime. Nathu does not have a team now; his last team was Delhi Capitals who paid him Rs 50 lakh before releasing him in 2019. However, prior to that, Mumbai Indians paid a whopping Rs 3.20 crore to acquire the fast bowler. Well what made them pay such a huge amount is definitely debatable, but it has certainly changed the life of the son of a factory worker. Nathu now turns up regularly for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy, but his IPL show has been limited to two matches and one wicket only.
Manzoor Dar: For a man who comes from a remote area in Kashmir, playing cricket is always an arduous task. Prior to making it big in the game, Dar worked as a labourer to supplement his family income. He was looking for ways to make more money to take care of his four brothers and three sisters, all of them younger to him. He also worked night shifts as a security guard in a factory so that he could play cricket during the day, a decision that helped him immensely. It was then that Manzoor was asked by a local coach to try and participate in club cricket after the latter saw him hitting huge sixes. The hard work ultimately paid off as Kings XI Punjab bought him for Rs 20 lakh in 2018. Yes, KXIP released him in 2019 and this season, Dar doesn’t have a team… but the Rs 20 lakh have given him a shot in the arm definitely.
PNN & Agencies