'I have seen world-class players like Hashim Amla go unsold at auctions' - Cheteshwar Pujara on not playing IPL

‘I have seen world-class players like Hashim Amla go unsold at auctions’ – Cheteshwar Pujara on not playing IPL

When questioned whether he feels a victim of public perception in the Indian cricket ecosystem, Pujara replied that though it hurts to not get the opportunity to prove his mettle as a white-ball cricketer.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The lifeline of India’s batting line-up in the longest format of the game, Cheteshwar Pujara is seen as a red-ball specialist who can’t perform the same magic in the limited-overs format. The cricketer has been away from the Indian Premier League from 2014 as no team had shown interest in bidding for the veteran.

The Indian Premier League is the world’s biggest T20 league organised by the BCCI where the cricketing greats regardless of their nation try to bag lucrative contracts. Not being a part of such a massive tournament can be disheartening, but this is not the case with Pujara.

Though the cricketer wants to fight the public perception of only being a red-ball specialist, he doesn’t get frustrated by going unsold in the auction as he knows that the IPL auctions can be tricky. The cricketer doesn’t harbour any ego regarding his non-participation in the league as there have been a lot of T20 legends including Hashim Amla who have gone unsold.

On being asked whether others decide about his credentials as a T20 player hurts or irks him, Pujara answered, “As a cricketer, I can’t have that opinion. Also, I feel that I am someone who will never have such egos because I have seen and known IPL auctions to be tricky.”

“I have seen world-class players like Hashim Amla go unsold at the auctions. There have been a lot of good T20 players, who have missed out on the auction. So I don’t have any big ego that they are not picking me. Yes, given a choice I would like to play IPL,” he added as quoted by Indian Express.

I am more than happy to play all formats: Cheteshwar Pujara

When questioned whether he feels a victim of public perception in the Indian cricket ecosystem, Pujara replied that though it hurts to not get the opportunity to prove his mettle as a white-ball cricketer. According to him, he can’t do much about it rather than proving himself whenever he sets a foot on the match field.

“I would say yes, it’s a perception being tagged as a Test player and I can’t do much about it. I have always said that I should get opportunities and once I get opportunities, then only I can prove myself as white-ball cricketer. I have performed well in List A cricket (average of 54), also in domestic T20s (century in Mushtaq Ali Trophy). I have done well in List A games in England,” said the hero of India’s maiden Test series victory on Australian soil.

“Performance is something which I can control and I will do that. Only thing I can do is wait for my opportunity. I am more than happy to play all formats. As long as I am playing the game, I will remain a student of the game as there is no end to what you can learn. But as and when I get an opportunity, then only I can change the perception.,” the Rajkot-born player added