New Delhi: Like in many of the Bollywood flicks, a seemingly unheralded hero emerged to trump the established names after Saturday's 2016 Indian Premier League players' auction held in Bangalore.
Pawan Negi became the overnight sensation thanks to Delhi Daredevils's whopping INR 8.50 crores successful bid. The 23-year-old was only yesterday included in the Indian squad for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 and Asia Cup tournaments and is yet to make his international debut.
But, on a day of frenetic bidding, the Delhi-based franchise go all way to pick the promising all-rounder. And in the process, the Delhi player also surpassed the likes of 2011 World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh to become the costliest Indian.
In fact, he is second costliest player to be sold today, behind Australia's Shane Watson -- who was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Neg had a base-price of INR 30 lakh, and previously played for now suspended IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. The Chennai-based franchise had bought him for his reserve price of 10 lakh, two seasons ago.
He is a left-arm spinner and hard-hitting left-hand batsman with 56 T20 matches to his credit, but what made him such a costly buy, no-one seems to understand. But, since his selection into the national team, the youngster has become an overnight sensation.
In the recently concluded national Twenty20 tournament -- Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Negi took six wickets in nine matches at 33.66 (economy 8.71) and scored 173 runs at 86.50 with a strike-rate of 173.
In contrast, T20 legend, Yuvi was expected to once again trigger a massive bidding war. But the 34-year-old somehow failed to generate enough interests from the franchises.
The left-handed player was, however, bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a cool INR 7 crores against his base-price of INR 2 crores. And it certainly reads as an obvious slump his value, at least on paper as of now, which may not proved right when the players take the field in April.
For those who want to read the similarities between the two utility players, today's auction can be considered as the start of changing the guard in Indian cricket.