The Indian T20 League has given rise to some of India’s greatest talents, while also acting as a hotbed for some of the best knocks witnessed at T20 level. Rated among the best cricket tournaments, every year, eight teams battle it out for the ultimate prize, with many individual as well as team accolades at stake.
However, there are some players who have not always able to live up to their hype, be it due to personal reasons or injury constraints. Here we look at five players who shone for only one Indian T20 League season and eventually faded in its glamour:
Paul Valthaty (Punjab)
Paul Valthaty had established himself as a rising star in the 2011 Punjab side when he scored 463 runs in 14 matches at a rate of 136.98 and averaging 35.61 as the season progressed. This included a blistering 120* against the eventual winners Chennai, as well as a couple of quickfire half-centuries, complementing a top-order that had stars like Adam Gilchrist and David Hussey. He also picked up seven wickets, making him the next big thing in Indian cricket.
Unfortunately, Valthaty could not keep the same level of consistency through the season, after scoring just 30 runs in six games in the next edition of the tournament. He last featured against Hyderabad in 2013, with the 36-year-old now playing for his employers Air India, as well as in the Mumbai T20 League in 2018.
Swapnil Asnodkar (Rajasthan)
Nicknamed the ‘Goan Cannon’, Swapnil Asnodkar was a key member of the Rajasthan team that beat Chennai in the final of the inaugural edition of the Indian T20 League. His striking prowess and attacking nature impressed then Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne, and Asnodkar went on to score 311 runs in nine games, batting at a strike rate of 133.47 and averaging 34.95 per game.
Much like Valthaty, Asnodkar was also a top-order batsman. Opening the batting with then South African captain Graeme Smith, the duo were a lethal pair, scoring 418 runs at 59.71 in the tournament. However, he only managed to score 112 runs in the next 11 games, playing his last Indian T20 League match in a loss to Punjab in 2011. A prominent feature in Goa’s Ranji team since 2001, he was the leading run-scorer for Goa in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy, with 369 runs in six matches. He now plies his trade as a coach after 17 years with the Goa team.
Manvinder Bisla (Kolkata)
Manvinder Bisla started his Indian T20 League career with the erstwhile Deccan Hyderabad team in 2009. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman saw his best performances in the cash-rich league with two-time IPL winners Kolkata, whom he represented from 2011-2014. His best season was the 2013 one, where he was a consistent run-getter in the middle order for the Kolkata-based franchise, scoring 255 runs from 14 matches.
Bisla’s heroics of 89 runs off 48 balls in the 2013 final against Chennai helped Kolkata clinch their first-ever Indian T20 League trophy. However, he could never repeat the same kind of performances before being moved on to Bangalore for the 2015 season. He only featured twice that season, with his last Indian T20 League match ironically coming against Chennai in 2015. Bisla remained unsold in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the league.
Manpreet Gony (Chennai)
Another player who was termed as a future star of Indian cricket, Manpreet Gony was the leading wicket-taker for finalists Chennai in the first season of the Indian T20 League. At 17 wickets in 16 matches, he was also the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the league. These strong performances led to a senior team call-up but Gony only managed to bowl 13 overs, scalping two wickets.
The 2009 edition saw the right-arm medium pace bowler playing just seven matches for Chennai. After a few sporadic appearances for Hyderabad, Punjab and the now-defunct Gujarat, he played his last Indian T20 League game against KKR in 2017 and retired from domestic cricket this year. He was last seen alongside Yuvraj Singh in the Canada T20 League and was also drafted into the Bangladesh Premier League but remained unpicked.
Kamran Khan (Rajasthan)
While every player in this list has featured in at least more than two seasons in the Indian T20 League, Kamran Khan is notably the pick of the bunch solely because he has played in literally only two seasons of the Indian T20 League, including the 2009 season in South Africa.
Coming from a humble background, Kamran Khan was one of the best talents to come out of the Indian T20 League but could not live up to the hype. He was nicknamed ‘Tornado’ by then Rajasthan skipper and Aussie legend Shane Warne.
Kamran’s breakthrough game came in a match-winning Super Over in the 2009 season where he dismissed Kolkata's Chris Gayle. Although he bagged just six wickets in five matches, including 3/18, his bowling prowess impressed his more able teammates.
However, after his bowling action was deemed suspicious, he was sent to Australia to work on his action but could not find the same form again. He represented the defunct Pune team for three matches of the 2010 edition, with his last appearances coming againstBangalore.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar