Stardom is a very tricky thing. One moment, you have people running behind you for autographs, photographs and what not. The next moment, you turn around and they are nowhere to be seen. It reminds me of Rajesh Khanna's famous dialogue from the movie Anand- "Aaj mai jaha hun, kal koi aur tha, ye bhi ek daur hai, wo bhi ek daur tha". This roughly translates to- "Somebody else used to be where I stand at present. This is also a phase, that was also a phase."
The same is the case with many IPL stars. It feels as if it were just yesterday when they were smashing the ball out of the park or disturbing the timber at will. The tide turned, though, and they were no longer sought after in the year's IPL auction.
This article presents 5 such names who have now been left out of the glitz and glamour that is the Indian Premier League:
#5 Pragyan Ojha
In the 2010 edition of the IPL, Pragyan Ojha was the most coveted spinner. He set the third season on fire by picking up 21 wickets. As a result, he clinched the Purple cap and became the only spinner in IPL history to do so. Ojha has been a part of three title winning teams- Deccan Chargers (once) and Mumbai Indians (twice).
His career was sailing smoothly till 2013, and he bagged 16 wickets in that season. Then, there was a considerable dip in his performance. In 2014, Ojha could only pick up 4 wickets in 12 matches for MI. In the following year, he got just one game, in which he went wicketless. The left-arm spinner has been waiting for an IPL call ever since.
#4 Shaun Marsh
There are very few players who have stuck with the same franchise throughout the first decade of IPL's existence. Shaun Marsh is one player who has served Kings XI Punjab all these years. Marsh announced his arrival in the inaugural edition by clinching the Orange cap. He piled up 616 runs in 11 matches at a mind boggling average of 68.44 including a ton.
The Australian still seems to strike the ball sweetly. In the previous season as well, he scored 264 runs at a decent average of 33.00 with two half-centuries. The senior Marsh looked in good nick recently when he scored a century during the second Ashes Test against England. However, KXIP decided to part ways with their loyal opener.
#3 James Faulkner
Aussie all-rounder James Faulkner has been a part of many IPL franchises like Pune Warriors, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals over the years. Last year, he played for the Gujarat Lions, a franchise which has now been dissolved.
Also known as Jimmy, Faulkner came close to being the Purple cap holder in 2013 when he had 28 scalps to his name.
Currently, Faulkner is running short on form and has been dropped from the Australian national team. His bowling pace has gone down and his hitting abilities have also deteriorated considerably. In the most recent season as well, Faulkner played 8 matches for the Gujarat Lions, in which he could only manage 54 runs and 6 wickets.
#2 Irfan Pathan
There was a time when Irfan Pathan was considered the next big thing in terms of a pace bowling all-rounder after Kapil Dev in Indian cricket. Being an all-rounder, he was always in demand.
When you see Pathan's stats over the years, there is a clear pattern. In the first 3 seasons of the IPL, he picked up 15, 17 and 15 wickets and scored at an average of 21.83, 19.60 and 34.50 respectively. His numbers started waning henceforth and so did the bidding for the talented player.
Recently, he was also dropped from the Baroda Ranji Trophy team. Despite putting up a decent show for the West zone in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the once-coveted player has been ignored by all the franchises.
#1 Lasith Malinga
Over the past few years, Lasith Malinga had been a vital cog in the Mumbai Indians setup. He single-handedly won MI numerous matches since he joined them in 2009. Popularly known as 'Slinga' Malinga, he bagged the Purple cap in 2011's IPL picking up 28 wickets for MI. This included figures of 5/13 against Delhi Daredevils.
Malinga had made a comeback after his ankle injury in the previous season of the IPL but his old charm was missing. He could only manage 11 wickets in 12 matches.
The 34-year-old Sri Lankan pacer has been struggling with his fitness of late. This is the reason why he was dropped from his national team for the limited overs leg against India last year.
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