I didn’t think I would get paid that much after the IPL auction, recalls Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine revealed a story about his first IPL auction, stating that he was unable to digest the amount he was bought for and was unsure if he would actually receive the amount. He went on to describe the impact of the award on his mentality and his father’s role in his career.

The Indian Premier League has grown by leaps and bounds since its inauguration, but in its early years it was already a huge business phenomenon attracting money like no other cricketing entity in the world. The tournament’s franchise format was revolutionary for the sport and ensured players were paid more than anywhere else in the world through an ingenious bidding system. Every year, stories emerge of foreign players surprised by the huge prices paid to them by the teams and Sunil Nostril became the latest addition to this list.

The West Indian spinner first appeared in the auction pool ahead of the IPL 2012 Mega Auction. By then, he was already starting to make waves around the world in T20 after being under the limelight with Trinidad and Tobago in the national circuit. His Champions League exploits further enhanced his global reputation, prompting Bengal-based team Kolkata Knight Riders to buy him for a whopping INR 5.5 crore.

Billed as a mystery spinner, Narine enjoyed great success early in his IPL career, scalping over 20 wickets in his first three seasons in the tournament. Even though batsmen around the world finally started to catch on, the 34-year-old’s plethora of variations remained more than effective and continued to bring him wickets.

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The versatile Caribbean player has revealed he thought he was being pranked when news of his sale first came to him, due to complete disbelief at the amount of money. Nonetheless, he thanked his dad for helping him stay humble and talked about the kind of performances needed to stay on top in a competitive league like the IPL.

« Funny story – when the auction took place, DJ Cheer told me I was signed, but I know he likes to play games, so I didn’t believe him. Then Pollard texted me and I said, “That can’t be real. When they buy you for that amount, do they actually pay you?” As a young cricketer from a humble background, I thank my dad, he always kept me grounded no matter the situation. With this price, the expectation is always high. I didn’t play the first game, so I realized I wasn’t an automatic pick despite the high price tag. It was an early wake-up call – I had to play cricket well,” he told ESPNCricinfo.

In 11 seasons, Narine racked up 148 appearances for the purple and gold brigade, racking up an impressive 152 wickets while making over 1,000 runs in his hard hitting role.

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