Shreyas Iyer was shocked to hear that he had fetched Rs 2.6 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Bangalore yesterday, outbidding the likes of Kevin Pietersen (Rs 2 crore) and Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.5 crore).
Shreyas Iyer. Pic/Suresh KK
The 20-year-old was slugging it out for Mumbai on Day One of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Delhi at Cuttack when he got the news of being snapped up by the Delhi Daredevils to become the most expensive uncapped player of IPL-8.
"I was in the pavilion when one of my teammates gave me the news. I was stunned. I thought he was fooling with me or lying. I never expected to get so much money (in the auction)," Shreyas told mid-day.
Shreyas' impressive first-class debut season (649 runs in eight matches so far) for Mumbai helped him rake in the moolah yesterday. He will be under India's 2011 World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten. Pravin Amre, Shreyas' childhood tutor and current Mumbai coach, will also be a part of the Delhi Daredevils support staff as assistant coach.
"Everyone was happy for me. I am happy to be with Pravin sir in my first IPL. He has told me to focus on the Ranji Trophy right now. IPL baad main dekh lenge (Think about the IPL later)," said Shreyas.
The big price tag is sure to attract more attention on Shreyas every time he takes the field. "I am not thinking about the pressure or the money I have fetched. I will continue doing what I am doing right now," Shreyas said.
Unaffected by fame
A fat IPL contract brings happiness and excitement, but there are also concerns of money and fame affecting the priorities and focus of a cricketer. However, Shreyas' parents believe he will stay unaffected by the hoopla.
"I don't think he will be affected a lot by the money factor. He has always been a very diligent guy. He knows his goals and is well aware where to focus. There's never been a time where we had to instruct him. He would get up early to devote time for his studies before leaving for practice," said Shreyas' father Santosh at his modest Adarsh Nagar flat in Worli yesterday.
"Of course, we are aware of the evils of fame and money at a young age, but he is matured enough to handle it. Whenever he comes home, we make him feel comfortable. I don't think he will get swayed away by money. His main aim is to play for India," added his father, who is a property consultant.