It's that time of the year again when excitement is in the air. Hope, anxiety and nerves grip the cricketers as they look forward to the Indian Premier League auctions. The auctions in the past have proved to be life-changing ones for many. As the players prepare to go under the hammer yet again for the 2020 season, cricketers share their auction day experiences which left them emotional and stunned on the big fat payday.
Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 6.2 crore in the 2018 IPL auction. He recalls the day when fairytale was scripted in his life.
The most interesting thing I can remember from that 2018 auction day is that I had to charge my phone thrice. It just didn't stop ringing. I was dreaming that day.
I was only expecting to be part of any of the IPL teams where I could play a game and showcase my talent, that was my primary goal. I just wanted to get picked and wasn't expecting anything on the money front. I believe in the fact that if you are going to put in the hard work, if you deserve something, you will get it. The only thing I believe in is putting in the effort and the rest is left to god. Whatever is yours it will come to you at any cost. I had given trials for Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians and a couple of other teams as well. Before that, we had the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament where I had performed decently.
The auction excitement had started building as soon as the player's list came out. Excitement is one thing and fear is another. The thoughts had started building up. Will I be picked? If yes, which team will pick me? You won't doubt that but the whole scenario of auctions and the concept is different and so you really cannot understand the dynamics. What helped me though was that I was constantly playing matches so I didn't have too much time to focus on what's going to happen on the big day. The pressure was off. I just kept playing and enjoying my game.
It was a two-day mega auction. On the first day, I was glued to the TV and didn't move an inch keenly following the auctions and waiting for my name to be announced. I was in the first list of domestic all-rounders and expecting my name to come out in the initial stage but it didn't happen. I was also sending congratulatory messages to the players who got picked up in the auction side by side. Day one ended, my name didn't pop up. The tension built up and I couldn't sleep. All kinds of thoughts started entering my mind. When will my name come? Which are the teams looking for me? I was in a state where I was desperately waiting for my name to come. You know your name is going to come up next or any time and you have to spend the whole night. It becomes a never-ending night. It's a different feeling altogether. I switched on the TV and tried to make sure I don't think much about the auction by dividing my attention. After a point, I stopped thinking about it and fell asleep with the TV on. I don't even remember what I was watching.
I couldn't get up the next morning. It was the second day of the auction. Suddenly I got a call. It was my fiancee. 'Your name is up, what are you doing?'
I was like, I am sleeping.
'Your name's come up and you are sleeping haaan?
I assured her that I am getting up quickly. I got up and started off the Hotstar stream which had a slightly delayed broadcast. But my fiancee was constantly updating me about the bidding on Whatsapp. I was in my room while my mother and brothers were watching in another room. As the bid kept on increasing with Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders engaged in a bidding war, I couldn't quite believe it. The only thing that was running through my mind was, I have to live up to the faith the teams have shown on me. As the hammer went down, the first call I received was from my fiancee and then my father who wasn't home. My mother prepared sweets and all the family members celebrated. My parents were really happy. Friends came over and then a couple of news channels interviewed me. In the evening I went to meet a couple of friends and had dinner and came back home.
I watched the re-run at least 10 times, with friends and family, after the auctions.
Well, that night I did sleep well because I was just exhausted. It didn't take too long to sink in because after a couple of days I had my Vijay Hazare Trophy game and had to switch myself on for the Karnataka team. I had a job at hand and so I had to move on.
As soon as I went to the Rajasthan Royals, they treated me like family and like someone who belonged there for a long time. They gave me that extra cushion and a comfortable zone where I was very happy. It made sure that the Rs 6.2 crore price tag didn't put extra pressure on me. I just stopped thinking about the price tag and stuff after the warmth they gave me which was completely different.
With regard to the money, the first thing I did was buy a house in Bangalore and then sorted out a few things with respect to family commitments.
Even now when I travel down the memory lane reminiscing that day, I still feel it was a dream....a fairytale.
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