The IPL auctions are always a big occasion for uncapped Indian youngsters. Some relative unknowns get very, very lucky, earn more money than they might have dreamt of. This time, there were some such young men too, who took home upwards of INR 1 crore. Here's a look at their stories.
Rajasthan Royals - INR 2.4 crore
India's youngest double centurion in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the domestic 50-over competition, sold pani-puris to eke out a living as an 11-year-old, a story that is now well-known in Indian cricket circles. Having travelled from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai to live with his uncle, he moved into a tent adjacent to Azad Maidan, where he trained, to save on costs. Today, Jaiswal could perhaps afford a decent home, if not a lavish bungalow, in Mumbai following an INR 2.4 crore bid from Rajasthan Royals.
For the moment, Jaiswal is gearing up to fly to South Africa with the India Under-19 team for a preparatory tour that will be followed by the World Cup, where he will be one of the key members for India, who are looking to defend the crown they won under Prithvi Shaw in 2018 in New Zealand.
ALSO READ: The Priyam Garg story
Jaiswal is an attacking left-hand bat, who racked up big runs in the white-ball season. He tallied an impressive 564 runs at an average of 112.80 with three hundreds and a fifty in the tournament where Mumbai finished as one of the losing semi-finalists. His 203 came off just 154 balls, including 12 sixes and 17 fours.
Jaiswal has had a fabulous 2019. It all started in February when he made 173 against South Africa Under-19. In Under-19 one-dayers, he's averaged 53.16 in 13 matches, having passed fifty seven times, including a century against Sri Lanka Under-19 on his first tour.
Kings XI Punjab - INR 2 crore
Ravi Bishnoi has joined a growing list of Rajasthan cricketers to find IPL teams via the India Under-19 route.
After Khaleel Ahmed and Mahipal Lomror , and Kamlesh Nagarkoti , Bishnoi has found a team after just a handful of youth one-dayers. Cricket became an obsession well before that, as he grew up watching YouTube videos of Anil Kumble, which made him want to be a legspinner, though he had started out as a medium pacer.
Two years ago, 19-year-old Bishnoi was nearly lost to cricket when he was benched for a state Under-16 tournament final. His father was so furious that Bishnoi was pulled out of cricket after that tournament. Thankfully, his coaches at Jodhpur's Spartan Cricket Academy, Pradyot Rathod and Sharukh Pathan, managed to convince his father to let him return to the game.
Tall and capable of turning the ball big, Bishnoi brings with him not just an excellent stock ball, but also a superb googly, and though he played only played two games at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, his 12 wickets at an economy rate of 4.37 in seven youth one-dayers convinced teams of his abilities. Now, he has an opportunity to first sparkle at the Under-19 World Cup next year, and then, if he gets into the XI, at the IPL.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 1.9 crore
Virat Singh had just returned to his hotel room after Jharkhand's win over Assam in the Ranji Trophy in Ranchi, he switched on the TV - with team-mates Shahbaz Nadeem (also a Sunrisers man) and Monu Singh (Chennai Super Kings) for company - to watch the auction. His name came up. Singh, who hasn't played in the IPL yet, was pretty sure of finding a bidder after Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers had all put him in their shortlist following a number of trials and match simulation exercises. However, the price he went for was a surprise.
"I've had 200 missed calls and some 300 messages already," he says. "I also have to treat my team-mates to dinner. The next game is in my hometown [Jamshedpur], so maybe we'll have a small celebration when we assemble again ahead of our next Ranji game against Haryana," he told ESPNcricinfo.
Singh, an attacking 22-year-old left-hand batsman, brought with him not just talent but plenty of runs too: 343 runs in ten innings at an average of 57.16 and strike rate of 142.32 at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last month.
He was in the running for a berth in the India Under-19 side for the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh, but a form slump prior to the tournament resulted in him missing out. Singh calls that an "eye-opener", one that motivated him to work harder. Over the years, he has become a Jharkhand regular across formats, forming part of a dynamic batting line-up alongside fellow Under-19 batch mate Ishan Kishan, Ishank Jaggi and Saurabh Tiwary.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 1.9 crore
His cricket smarts - standing well outside the crease to negate Bhuvneshwar Kumar's swing when just 15 years old - caught the attention of his childhood coach Sanjay Rastogi in Meerut. Now, he is India's captain for the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa next year.
Garg is a technically solid batsman, capable of hitting boundaries at will without losing his shape. According to Rastogi, he "never makes ugly runs", and is capable of switching seamlessly between attack and defence.
In 2017, Rahul Dravid watched him score a hundred in Alur at an invitational tournament organised by the Karnataka State Cricket Association - he was 17 at the time. He was soon added to the India Under-19 team, and he has only risen in stature since, a double-century on Ranji Trophy debut against Goa taking him higher.
He finished his maiden first-class season with 814 runs in ten matches, second in the list for Uttar Pradesh behind Rinku Singh. He soon found places in the Duleep and Deodhar Trophy squads, further proof of his abilities and what people in positions of power think of him.
Rajasthan Royals - INR 1.3 crore
The lanky fast bowler's early strength and conditioning sessions included transporting sacks of agricultural produce from his father's farm in Hapur, a small town in Uttar Pradesh with no proper cricket facilities. He was a teenager then.
He's still in his teens, but has spent time in Lucknow and Kanpur, where he impressed Rizwan Shamsad, the former Uttar Pradesh captain, at a selection trial. Tyagi is capable of swinging the ball both ways and bowls close to 140 clicks. Given he's only 19, Paras Mhambrey, India Under-19 head coach, believes Tyagi is still in the development phase and can become faster as he matures.
Tyagi was fast-tracked into Uttar Pradesh's Ranji Trophy side as a 17-year-old, on the back of a stunning run in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy, where he bowled Uttar Pradesh to victory against defending champions Vidarbha. Further signs of his abilities shone through in England this June-July when he was part of the youth ODI series, where he claimed nine wickets in five games. More recently, he picked up six wickets in three games in the Under-19 series against Afghanistan in Lucknow. Tyagi is now set to lead India's pace attack at the Under-19 World Cup in January.