IPL 2014 news February 21, 2014

Munaf mystified by IPL exclusion

ESPNcricinfo staff

Munaf Patel, the India fast bowler, has expressed his surprise at not being picked by any franchise in the IPL auctions. He has been dogged with injury problems in recent years, and has only played four Ranji matches since last year's IPL.

In 2011, Munaf had been bought for $700,000 by Mumbai Indians but he played progressively fewer matches over the three seasons, picked for only four matches in 2013.

"I am surprised too," he told the Mumbai Mirror about the lack of bids at the IPL auction. "But really I can't say with any conviction why none of the eight franchisees picked me. I played four Ranji matches this season and picked a ten-wicket haul against Services. I recently played an institutional tournament in Mumbai and picked a few wickets. I am fit and bowling at decent pace."

Besides the IPL and the CLT20, Munaf has been restricted by injuries to a light workload in 2012, and a moderately busier one in 2013. "I am fit. I have played Ranji, office tournaments. I am going to play one-dayers and T20 for Baroda in coming months."

Munaf, who is 12th in the list of IPL wicket-takers, had set his base price at Rs 50 lakh (around $83,000). His most successful season was 2011 when, soon after being called the 'unsung hero of India's World Cup win', he bagged 22 wickets.

He hasn't represented India in nearly three years, but he remains hopeful of making a comeback. "That's what I am aiming and trying for. My point is that cricket is the only thing I know and so why will I not take it seriously? This is my passion, bread and butter."