Abhinav Sadarangani, one of the uncapped players in the Indian T20 League 2022 mega auction, stole the limelight after new franchise Team Gujarat paid a whopping INR 2.6 crore to acquire his services.

Also known as Abhinav Manohar, the 27-year-old cricketer was involved in an intense bidding war between Kolkata, Delhi and Gujarat before the latter bought him for 13 times his base price of INR 20 lakh.

Born on September 16, 1994, the Bangalore-born batter made his T20 debut for Karnataka in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The right-handed batter gave an instant impression of his calibre as he scored 162 runs in four matches, at an average of 54. His top knock was a match-winning 70 in the preliminary quarter-final. 

Soon after, Sadarangani also made his List A debut for Karnataka in the preliminary quarter-finals of the 2021–22 Vijay Hazare Trophy in December. Along with his batting credentials, Sadarangani can also bowl some handy leg-spin. 

While the 27-year-old is expected to make his first appearance in the Indian T20 League this season, he has already played for Hubli Tigers and Bellary Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League.

Abhinav hails from a humble background as his father, Manohar Sadarangani, used to run a footwear shop that was eventually closed down due to COVID-19 protocols. Along with his father, Abhinav’s childhood coach Irfan Sait also had a clothing store on the same lane in Bengaluru’s commercial street many years ago. 

“I first saw him as a nearly six-year-old kid who came to KIOC (Karnataka Institute of Cricket) and wanted to take up cricket. I knew his dad and mother (Manohar Sadrangani and Neetu) as they were running a footwear store in Commercial Street next to our women’s garment shop. At first, he remained a bit scared to face the ball but as he became familiar with the sport, he became more confident of himself as a player,” Abhinav’s childhood coach Irfan Sait was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.

Interestingly, Abhinav is the second one from his family to play professional cricket after his first cousin Sharanya Sadrangani, who plays for the German national women’s team.

“They used to come and train together. Later, Sharanya moved to England, and got some experience playing in the county circuit. Now she is playing for the Germany national team,” Irfan added.

Featured photo: BCCI