The IPL Emerging Player of the Season Award is the most prestigious prize for a rising star in the tournament.
To motivate the youngsters to give their best in the tournament, the IPL organizers introduced a prize named 'Best U-19 Player' in 2008. The award's name was changed to the Under-23 Success of the Tournament in 2009.
Two years later, BCCI again renamed it as the Rising Star of the Year, while in 2013, this award was called the Best Young Player of the Season.
Finally, in 2014, the administrators termed this unique award the IPL Emerging Player of the Season, and the prize goes by the same name to date.
Generally, uncapped players are the favorites to win the IPL Emerging Player of the Season award. However, youngsters who have played 5 or less Test matches or 20 or less ODIs, are also eligible for this prize.
In the last 13 years, there have been three capped Indian cricketers who have taken this trophy home. Here's a look at those three Indian stars.
#3 Rohit Sharma - International Debut in 2007, U-23 Success of the Year in 2009
Rohit Sharma bagged his maiden international cap in an ODI match against the Ireland cricket team on June 23, 2007. The selectors later included him in the Indian squad for the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa.
After winning the trophy with the Indian team, Rohit made his IPL debut for the Deccan Chargers in 2008. Next year, the Chargers elected him as their vice-captain, and Rohit repaid the team management's faith in him with 362 runs and 11 wickets in 16 matches. His magnificent performances helped DC capture the IPL trophy.
A 22-year-old Rohit Sharma claimed the U-23 Success of the Year award for his all-round brilliance.
#2 Rishabh Pant - International debut in 2017, IPL Emerging Player of the 2018 season
Rishabh Pant made a name for himself with his aggressive batting performances for the Indian cricket team in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2016. The Delhi Capitals signed Pant at the 2016 IPL Auction.
Thanks to his incredible domestic cricket performances, Rishabh broke into the Indian T20I team in February 2017. He received his maiden international cap in a T20I fixture against England in Bengaluru.
Pant impressed fans with his batting in IPL 2017, but Basil Thampi collected the IPL Emerging Player award that year.
Rishabh played only three more T20I games for India between IPL 2017 and 2018. As a result, he was eligible for the IPL Emerging Player of the Year award once again.
This time, he did not squander his chance, as he aggregated 684 runs in 14 innings at a strike rate of 173.60. Pant bagged the IPL Emerging Player award in the 2018 season and soon made his debut for India in the other two formats.
#1 Shubman Gill - International Debut in 2019, IPL Emerging Player of the 2019 season
Another U-19 star who got an opportunity to play international cricket at the senior level before winning the IPL Emerging Player award was Shubman Gill. The Kolkata Knight Riders batsman won the trophy in May 2019.
A few months before he won this award, Gill got his first ODI cap in New Zealand. The right-handed batsman performed consistently in the Ranji Trophy and had some excellent outings with the India A team, which led to his maiden international call-up.
Gill warmed the benches in the first three ODIs of the 5-match series against New Zealand. He made it to the playing XI for the final two games but only managed 16 runs in two innings. As a result, he lost his place in the ODI squad.
Nevertheless, Gill returned to form in IPL 2019, aggregating 296 runs in 13 innings for KKR. He bagged the IPL Emerging Player Award and is currently a regular member of the Indian Test and ODI squads.