New Delhi: The 2016 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is done and dusted but Pawan Negi still wonders why he wasn't given enough chances to prove his abilities. Despite being one of the costliest players in the cash-rich league, the 23-year-old was reduced to a peripheral figure in the youth dominated Delhi Daredevils outfit.
"I kept wondering why wasn't I given more opportunities," Negi told the Asian Age. "And the team management didn't tell me the reason either. When I was with CSK [Chennai Super Kings], Mahi bhai [MS Dhoni] backed my abilities. Maybe, I feel Delhi didn't back my skills with bat and ball. Maybe, it was a rotation policy, because I was never told that I was dropped.
"The hardest part was, before every match, I had no clue whether I would play or not. People kept asking me why I didn't play much. I didn't have a proper answer."
Negi was bought for INR 8.5 crores by the Daredevils, but he played only eight of the team's 14 matches and bowled a mere nine overs taking a wicket in the entire tournament, which was won by Hyderabad Sunrisers.
"Sitting on the bench was hard to digest as I never expected to watch the action from the sidelines. I was mentally down, but I didn't lose hope. After the season, TA Sekhar and our manager Sunil Valson pepped me up saying that I didn't get enough opportunities to showcase my abilities," he added.
But it was a tough season for the talented all-rounder, with the team requiring him to play pinch-hitter's role in most of the chances he got the chance to bat. His efforts with the bat resulted in 57 runs from six innings, with four not-outs and a highest score of unbeaten 19.