Five overseas stars who improved their image in India with IPL
Long before the plethora of T20 leagues made their way into world cricket, there used to be a time when international matches were the only ways to see the players in action. Yes, the stakes were indeed gargantuan.
Often, fans fear or even hate certain players due to their peculiarly irksome field antics and monumental efforts against their team, the same reasons which make them loved in their own countries.
Indian fans are especially notorious for this kind of fandom. But since the advent of the Indian Premier League ten years ago, they have gotten the opportunity to see those anti-heroes as parts of their own franchises. As a result, many players have been able to get rid of their unpopular image in the subcontinent to become fan favorites with some riveting performances. Here are five such overseas stars.
#5 Ben Stokes
Admittedly, Ben Stokes was never really an unpopular player. However, his fiery temper on and off the field has often ruffled up the feathers of the opposition players and fans alike. Adding his 'bad boy' image, much like his predecessor Andrew Flintoff, he was definitely not in the list of role models for any budding player.
However, Stokes lit up the spirited resurgence of Rising Pune Supergiants from a last place finish in 2016 to runners-up in 2017. With 316 runs at 31.60 and 12 wickets at a measly economy of 7.18, he was also adjudged to be the most valuable player of the tournament.
Stokes' consistency as well as no-nonsense attitude were instrumental in endearing him to the Indian fans. After grabbing the attention of the media as well as the fans in 2017, he had a lukewarm season in 2018. However, his stocks off the field never went down.