IPL is incomplete without the overseas talent. Foreign players are as important as Indian players in an IPL team. Combination of Indian and foreign players is one of the unique selling points of IPL. Foreign players have different skill set compared to Indian players. Players in sub-continent play on the slow and turning tracks. While players outside sub-continent play on fast and bouncy pitches. So the technique of sub-continent players and rest of world players is different. And when their combination provides the balance to the IPL team. Overseas talent gives life to IPL. People love to see the players of different culture playing together.
IPL not only nurtures Indian talent, it nurtures foreign talent as well. Along with the experienced and professional overseas players, some young guns also get chance to showcase their talent. Since 2008, IPL is training a lot of overseas players coming in along with the experienced lot. Since 2008, BCCI is presenting matured players to other cricket boards. Let me show you how overseas talent has contributed in IPL and how IPL has contributed in their career.
Overseas finds of IPL
In 2008, Tom Moody was the coach of Kings XI Punjab. In the very first auction, Tom Moody picked Shaun Marsh in King XI Punjab side. Shaun Marsh was an unknown face in the world of cricket. His only identity was his father, Geoff Marsh. Before IPL, he was playing first-class cricket in Australia. During the first season of IPL, Tom Moody made him open the innings for Kings XI Punjab. And Shaun Marsh ended up as the highest run scorer in the first season of IPL. Shaun was playing domestic cricket in Australia since 2000 but he gained maturity in the world’s best t20 league in 2008. After a successful year with Kings XI Punjab, Marsh made his debut for Australia in shorter formats. Along with matured Marsh, IPL also turned out of form Watson into in form Watson in 2008.
In 2012, an unknown West Indian came into the limelight. His name is Kevon Cooper. Kevon Cooper was signed by Rajasthan Royals in 2012 edition of IPL. He used to finish the game for Rajasthan Royals and used to take some wickets for Rajasthan Royals with his medium pace bowling. Cooper was typical tall and powerful West Indian cricketer. He never finds the place in West Indian team but IPL gave him the chance to showcase his talent and made him famous.
In 2016, Tabraiz Shamsi (left arm spinner) was the overseas find of IPL. He replaced Samuel Badree in the squad of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was playing domestic cricket since 2009 but was not able to make a mark to get selected in the national side. In 2016, he got the chance in Royal Challengers Bangalore in place of Samuel Badree and he impressed South Africa’s national selectors with his performance in that season of IPL. Immediately after the ninth edition of IPL, he made debut for South Africa in June. He made the debut in one-day internationals, not in twenty20 international. Well groomed Shamsi was the gift to South African cricket board by the IPL.
There is one more Aussie cricketer who got a second chance in IPL. He is Brad Hogg. Brad Hogg became the oldest player to play the game in 2014. He retired and made a comeback in t20 cricket in 2011 with Perth Scorchers. Seeing his performance in Perth Scorchers, he got a chance in the Rajasthan Royals. IPL played a huge role in starting his second innings. IPL gave him the confidence that still some cricket is left in him. He carried that confidence in international cricket and went on to play t20 world cup in 2014. After retiring from International Cricket, he picked up the Mic as a commentator in 2015 but there was still some cricket left in him. Sunil Narine was suspended due to his wrong action and Brad Hogg made yet another comeback in his career. He replaced Sunil Narine in Kolkata Knight Rider’s squad. This time, it was only IPL, he didn’t play for Australia again. He ended his IPL career in 2016.
These are few examples. There are so many overseas players who have gained momentum and confidence in IPL and have carried that in their national teams.
Experiments by international players in IPL
Overseas players try new things in IPL. They experiment with new shots and new deliveries during the IPL. After experimenting the things during the IPL, they develop that technique and make it one of their weapons. AB DeVilliers played the reverse pull shot for the first time in IPL. Along with reverse pull, he also developed his lap shot during the IPL. When he played those shots, no one had seen such kind of shots before. It was jaw-dropping. Dwayne Bravo tried and developed his slower deliveries during the IPL. He went on to make them his weapons and those deliveries has made him a successful bowler in t20 cricket.
Players have experimented a lot in IPL (knuckleball is the latest one). Some of those experiments got success and some failed. It will continue because t20 cricket demands transformation on regular basis.
Players who have made India their second home
Due to IPL, some players have India their second home. AB DeVilliers, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Brendon McCullum, Lasith Malinga and Chris Gayle are some of them. They have left an impact on the fans in India. These players have made the special place in the hearts of Indian fans and are simply loved by them. Most of these players have accepted that India is their second home. Even the retired players like Scott Styris, Brett Lee, Mahela Jayawardene, Daniel Vettori, Jaques Kallis has been part of almost every IPL. They have contributed to the success of IPL by either being a coach, a commentator or a mentor, if not a player. Brett Lee has been part of the film called ‘UnIndian’. Some of these players spent most of the time of a year in India.
Overseas players give life to IPL with their talent, ability, style and moves. IPL is unimaginable without overseas talent. Overseas talent has contributed equally as other factors in the success of IPL.