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‘Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar approached us…’: Virender Sehwag recalls doubts before 1st IPL auction

Virender Sehwag was among the biggest stars to go under the hammer during the first IPL auction.

The first Indian Premier League (IPL) auction set the foundation for quite a lot of the most recognisable features of the league but it was something that was quite unheard of in the world of cricket. As is the case with any new phenomenon, the league, and particularly the process of an auction, was met with skepticism before either of them took off and Virender Sehwag, who was among the biggest stars to go under the gavel at the time, revealed that it was the same for the players involved with the Indian team.

Sehwag was captain of the Delhi Daredevils for two seasons(Getty Images)

Sehwag revealed that the Indian team had got to know about the auction, which was held on February 20, 2008, for the first time while they were on their 2007/08 tour of Australia. “It has been a while, the kids have grown up, they are playing cricket now so it does feel like we have grown up. I can never forget the day we were briefed for the first time,” said Sehwag.

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The 44-year-old said that former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri were the first to approach the players with the idea. “We were in Australia. Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri approached us and said that there is this thing called the Indian Premier League that is going to happen and they were asking us to give them all our rights. We were wondering if this league will really be a success or not. We are giving all our rights but then what if we end up getting nothing for it,” said Sehwag.

“But they made sure that we understand that it is going to become a very big league in the future. Whatever rights you give to this league, you will be earning far more than what you are now. The money was a secondary factor of course, but at the time we never imagined that it would become such a big platform where new players will get chances and they will end up replacing us,” he said.

Sehwag was bought by the Delhi Daredevils, now known as the Delhi Capitals, in the first IPL auction. He was captain of the team for two seasons before stepping down from the position and handing it over to Gautam Gambhir. He left DD to play for Kings XI Punjab, with whom Sehwag reached the IPL final in 2014. Sehwag played 104 matches in his IPL career, scoring 2728 runs at a strike rate of 155.44 with 16 half centuries and two centuries.

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