The Indian T20 League, since its inaugural edition in 2008, has been a breeding ground for young talents. Year after year, the lucrative T20 extravaganza has seen the passage of some of the top cricketing talents not just from the country, but across the globe.
Despite having its rule stated that a team can only field four foreign players in the starting XI, the scouting network has been such that at times, a gem has been unearthed. The league has provided a grand platform to the budding cricketers, and today, we take a look at five players who got their international call (in the T20I squad) due to the Indian T20 League.
Shaun Marsh was not a name well known before the inaugural season of the Indian T20 League but following that first season with Punjab, he was definitely a talking point among cricket aficionados. In just 11 matches, Marsh racked up 616 runs as Punjab made it to the semi-finals. The Australian national team soon called and he was part of their tour of West Indies in 2008, where he reproduced his Indian T20 League form with a Man of the Match-worthy 81 runs on debut while his side won by 84 runs.
Thanks to his impressive showings in the Emerging Players Contest the year prior, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was picked by Delhi to make his Indian T20 League debut in 2012, coming on as a replacement for Travis Birt, who had withdrawn from the squad. That same year, Australia Head Selector John Inverarity picked Maxwell for the UAE tour, calling him ‘a versatile and lively off-spinning allrounder and brilliant fieldsman’. After making his ODI debut against Afghanistan, he played a key role in winning two matches against Pakistan, and was subsequently picked for the 2012 ICC World T20 Cup squad as well.
Mitchell Marsh made his Indian T20 League debut in 2010 for Team Deccan before heading over to Pune following year. It was also when he got the call-up to represent Australia’s T20I and ODI squads in their tour of South Africa. After Australia won the first of T20I match in Cape Town, Marsh got to debut in their second match in Johannesburg with a 21-ball 36. Australia ended up losing and drawing the series but they won the ODI leg, where Marsh made the crucial contribution of Hashim Amla's wicket in the second ODI.
While Murali Vijay was already being considered for India’s Test and ODI teams since 2008, popular opinion was that his laconic style would not suit the T20 format too well. He put those assumptions to rest when he became a regular fixture for Chennai in the Indian T20 League, scoring 458 runs that year at a strike rate of 156.84, surpassing even Matthew Hayden. With an injury putting Virender Sehwag out of action for the ICC World T20 2010, Vijay, thanks to his Indian T20 League heroics, was deemed the perfect replacement, beating out Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey.
Umesh Yadav a potent pacer who Team India had been seeking and while he didn’t overly impress during his stint with Delhi during the 2010 Indian T20 League season, it was his raw pace and his penchant for keeping the batsmen guessing that endeared him to India’s selectors. Thus, it followed that when Praveen Kumar got injured during that year’s World T20, Yadav got the call to fly to the Caribbean, eventually making his ODI debut during the Zimbabwe tour.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Indranil Mukherjee