The Indian Premier League (IPL) has become one of the biggest sporting extravaganzas in the world, but it wasn’t an instant success story. In fact, there was widespread scepticism surrounding the inaugural season, including among the Indian players themselves, according to Virender Sehwag.
Sehwag, who was one of the biggest names in the first season of the IPL, recently spoke about the initial reaction of the Indian team when they were told about the auction. The Delhi batsman disclosed that the team was first informed about the auction during their 2007/08 tour of Australia, which took place on February 20, 2008.
“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. He added that former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri were the first to approach the players with the idea of the IPL.
“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.
According to Sehwag, the duo assured the players that the league would be a big success and that the rights they gave up would ultimately pay off in the long run. “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.