Providing a platform to the young and aspiring players to prove their mettle by performing against international stars was one of the major objectives behind the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL). After completing twelve seasons, it can be said that the objective has been achieved to a large extent.
The likes of Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel, and Yuzvendra Chahal have all been fast-tracked into the Indian team after their splendid show in the T20 extravaganza. Not only youngsters from India, but overseas players like Shaun Marsh, Chris Morris, and Marcus Stoinis made their international debut after impressing in the IPL.
The league has its own system of rewarding the breakthrough performer of the year in the form of the Emerging Player of the year award. As we head towards the thirteenth season of the league, we take a look at the past winners of the award.
Note: Here's the eligibility criteria for the award (as of IPL 2019):
- Should be born on or after 1 April 1993.
- Should have played five or fewer Test matches or 20 or less ODIs.
- Should have played 25 or fewer IPL matches (at of the start of the season)
- Should not have won the Emerging Player award in the past
Also see – BPL Schedule
2008 - Shreevats Goswami (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The wicket-keeper of the Virat Kohli-led U-19 side that won the World Cup in 2008, Shreevats Goswami was the winner of the Emerging Player of the year award in the inaugural edition of the IPL. Goswami represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, who finished at the seventh spot in the points table. In the four matches he played, Goswami scored 82 runs, with an average of 27.33 and a strike rate of 96.47. He scored one half-century that season (52), along with four dismissals behind the wicket (two catches and two stumpings)
2009 - Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers)
After being one of the few positives in his side's disastrous campaign in 2008, Rohit Sharma played a key role in the Deccan Chargers' IPL triumph the following year. Already a promising youngster on the international circuit, he scored 362 runs in 16 matches at an average of 27.84 and a strike rate of 114.92. Though he scored less than his final tally in the 2008 edition, he played some useful knocks at crucial situations, including a scintillating knock of 32* (13) against Kolkata Knight Riders.
2010 - Saurabh Tiwary (Mumbai Indians)
Having made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2008, Saurabh Tiwary entered the 2010 edition with just seven games under his belt. After two seasons wherein he did not get many chances, it was finally Tiwary's time to shine. He stacked up 419 runs from 16 games at an average of 29.92 and a strike rate of 135.59. He was team Mumbai's mainstay in the middle order along with Ambati Rayudu and contributed heavily with the bat.
2011 - Iqbal Abdulla (Kolkata Knight Riders)
With just four IPL games in the first three seasons of the league, Abdulla finally got his chance to shine in 2011. In 15 games, he picked up 16 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.10. Being one of the lead spinners in the KKR side, Abdulla helped his side reach the play-offs - a first for the Kolkata-based team in four seasons of the league.
2012 - Mandeep Singh (Kings XI Punjab)
A part of the Indian squad at the 2010 U-19 World Cup, Mandeep Singh was bought by KXIP in the 2011 auction. After a mediocre season in 2011, wherein he played just six games, Singh showcased his brilliance the following year. In 16 games, he aggregated 432 runs at an average of 27.00 and a strike rate of 126.31.
2013 - Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Making his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson got recognition after a delightful 63 against Royal Challengers Bangalore while chasing a stiff target of 172. Getting his chance when regular wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik got injured, Samson grabbed the opportunity with both hands. With 206 runs from 11 games at an average of 25.75 and a strike rate of 115.73 and some really impressive strokeplay, Samson bagged the Emerging Player of the year award in his very first IPL stint.
2014 - Axar Patel (Kings XI Punjab)
The all-rounder from Gujarat began his IPL career with Kings XI Punjab in 2014. In a season dominated by the blitz of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, Patel was the unsung hero in his side's journey to the finals. The left-arm orthodox spinner picked 17 wickets in 17 games at an impressive economy of 6.13. He was amongst the wickets more often than not and was quite economical as well. With the bat, he scored 62 runs at an average of 10.33.
2015 - Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils)
Shreyas Iyer was picked up by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2015. In what turned out to be a disappointing season for his side, Iyer aggregated 439 runs from 14 games while opening the innings. He averaged 33.76 and had a strike rate of 128.36, also notching up four fifties.
2016 - Mustafizur Rahman (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Troubling India with his accurate off-cutters in his debut series, Mustafizur Rahman was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. The left-arm pacer played a key role in the title-winning campaign for the Sunrisers as he bowled in tandem with Bhuvneswar Kumar at the death. With 17 wickets from 16 games under his belt at an impressive economy of 6.90, he remains the only non-Indian player to win the IPL Emerging Player of the year award.
2017 - Basil Thampi (Gujarat Lions)
Catching the eyes of the franchises with his impressive speed and deadly yorkers on the domestic circuit, Basil Thampi was bought by Gujarat Lions in the 2017 auction. The Kerala pacer, with his accurate yorkers, was extremely difficult to score against at the death. In 12 games, Thampi picked up 11 wickets at an economy rate of 9.49. Despite having an economy rate on the higher side, Thampi's pace and the ability to bowl yorkers at will earned him the Emerging Player of the year award for that season.
2018 - Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)
The current wicket-keeper of the Indian team, Rishabh Pant was retained by Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) ahead of the 2018 edition. And he repaid the faith shown on him by the franchise with a career-defining season. Pant was the lone shining star for his side, which finished at the bottom of the points table. In 14 games, he scored 684 runs at an average of 52.61 and a strike rate of 173.60. Pant had five fifties and a century (128*) under his belt and was clearly the best among the youngsters that season.
2019 - Shubman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders)
A vital contributor in India's U-19 World Cup win in 2018, Shubman Gill was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 auction. But he did not get many opportunities with the bat as he batted mostly at number six or seven. The following year, Gill got more chances at the top of the order and utilized his chances by scoring 296 runs from 14 games, at an average of 32.88 and a strike rate of 124.36. One of the brightest young prospects in domestic cricket right now, Gill is the most recent recipient of the Emerging Player of the year award.