The Indian Premier League (IPL) has completed 10 successful years and has delivered in its purpose all the way. Not only has it helped Indian domestic talents develop themselves more quickly while playing alongside the best in the world, it has also catapulted Indian cricket into the powerhouse that it is today.
The league, which goes into the high-profile auctions in about three days' time, has been the stepping stone for many a cricketer to realise their dreams of playing the highest form of the game and representing their country, with Indian cricketers unsurprisingly being a major beneficiary in this regard.
Let us take a look at a few players whose lives changed after appearing in the IPL:
David Warner: The left-handed Australian opening batsman became the first cricketer from his country in 132 years to make his debut in national colours without playing first-class cricket. It wasn't long before he was picked up by Delhi Daredevils for the second season of the cash-rich league, where he would go on to spend the next five seasons.
After a lukewarm run in the 2009 season, one in which he couldn't play the number of games he would've wanted thanks to the presence of established openers in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, it was over the next couple of seasons that he established himself as a first-choice opener for the team, with his performances for the Daredevils helping with his selection for the Australian national side.
Glory would, however, visit him after he was made captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, as he led them to their maiden title in the 2016 edition while ranking among the top run-getters.
Hardik Pandya: A man who is often compared to the legendary Kapil Dev – as someone who can fill the void left behind in the Indian team by the World Cup-winning all-rounder. The Baroda player might be a first-choice all-rounder for India today, pursuing his trade in the ongoing tour of South Africa, but it is the IPL that he has to thank as far as getting the big opportunity is concerned.
After getting picked by Mumbai Indians at his base price of Rs 10 lakh in the 2015 edition, Pandya made a mark for himself in the tournament with his powerful hitting, contributing valuable runs to the side while batting in the middle-order. His exploits earned him a call-up to the Indian side touring Australia later that year, in which he got his T20I debut, and has been a mainstay of the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians team ever since.
Jasprit Bumrah: A case very similar to that of Pandya, Bumrah was fast-tracked into the Indian team after shining in the 2015 edition of the IPL. Unlike Pandya though, Bumrah had been part of the Mumbai squad since 2013, collecting an impressive haul of 3/32 against Royal Challengers Bangalore on debut. What's more, he made his IPL debut even before making his entry into first-class cricket.
Bumrah got called into the Indian squad for the limited-overs tour of Australia in early 2016, in which he got to play in both the ODI as well as T20I legs. There has been no looking back for Bumrah since then, and he went on to make his Test debut at Cape Town in the ongoing tour of South Africa.
Washington Sundar: After producing noteworthy performances in the 2016 U-19 World Cup, which was enough to grab the attention of IPL scouts, he was picked up by the Rising Pune Supergiant for the 2017 season.
It was during the last edition of the league that the young off-spinner displaced a more senior offie from the XI – Ravichandran Ashwin. With the Test specialist struggling to find his rhythm in the shorter formats, the opportunity was perfect for young Sundar to make the most of the opportunity presented to him.
With eight wickets from 11 matches with excellent numbers to boast of at the same time (average: 23.12; economy: 6.16; strike rate: 22.50), he had already presented his case to the Indian selectors for a call-up to international white-ball cricket. His dream did come true towards the end of the year when he was handed his maiden cap in both ODIs as well as T20Is in the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The wily leg-spinner struggled to get game time while part of the Mumbai Indians squad after being picked up by the franchise in the 2013 season. It was only after he moved to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2015 that he struck gold – finishing as their leading wicket-taker for two successive seasons (with an average as well as a strike rate of less than 20 in both seasons).
It wasn't long before fans got to see Chahal in national colours, as he made his debut in the tour of Zimbabwe in 2016. However, it was in the T20I leg of England's tour of India that he proved his credentials, tearing the English batting line-up apart with magical figures of 6/25 in the third match of the series at Bengaluru. That match truly established himself in the Indian limited-overs side.