The 14th edition of the grand Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to commence on April 9, 2021. The league is back in India after the 2020 season was shifted to the UAE owing to Covid-19 restrictions in India.
IPL 2021 promises to be yet another thrilling event for cricket fans. One can certainly expect the big names to perform at their best and maybe we could also see some youngsters step up to the plate during the season.
Ahead of the IPL 2021 auction in February, franchises looked to fill in gaps in their squads by either acquiring or trading players from other franchises. The 2021 edition of the IPL has seen quite a few trades between franchises.
The Chennai Super Kings traded in Robin Uthappa from the Rajasthan Royals to strengthen their batting, and give them a backup wicket-keeping option. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore traded in Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel from the Delhi Capitals franchise to further strengthen their bowling attack.
Having said that, we look at 5 trades from IPL history that have proven to be extremely fruitful for their franchises.
1. KL Rahul - SRH to RCB (IPL 2016)
KL Rahul had a poor run in IPL 2015. The wicketkeeper-batsman could manage only 142 runs throughout the season, playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Rahul averaged a mere 28.4 in the season, and had no half-centuries against his name.
As a result, the Hyderabad-based franchise decided to trade the wicketkeeper-batsman out to the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of IPL 2016.
KL Rahul's move to RCB turned out to be a massive gain for the Bangalore-based franchise. The wicket-keeper batsman scored 397 runs over the course of the season, at an average of 44.11 and a brilliant strike rate of 146.49.
Unfortunately, KL Rahul had to sit out of IPL 2017 owing to an injury. Subsequently, he was released from the RCB squad before the next IPL edition. He was then acquired by the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) for a whopping 11 crores at the 2018 IPL Auction.
2. Trent Boult - DC to MI (IPL 2020)
Boult had a dull IPL 2019 for the Capitals, where he picked up 5 wickets in 5 games. The Kiwi pacer was also quite expensive, with an economy rate of 8.58. He was subsequently traded out from the DC squad before IPL 2020.
Boult, however, turned out to be a gem for the Mumbai Indians. Paired with Jasprit Bumrah, the Mumbai-based franchise boasted the most lethal fast-bowling attack in the tournament. Trent Boult was the 3rd highest wicket-taker at the end of the 2020 edition, playing a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians clinching their 5th IPL title.
Boult picked up 25 scalps at a brilliant strike rate of 13.76 during the course of IPL 2020. He certainly turned out to be a steal for the Mumbai Indians.
3. Quinton de Kock - RCB to MI (IPL 2019)
In one of the most successful trades in tournament history, Quinton de Kock was traded in by MI from RCB ahead of IPL 2019.
The South African opening batsman had a below-par 2018 IPL season. He scored only 201 runs in 8 innings for RCB, and was then traded ahead of IPL 2019.
The left-handed batsman scored a massive 529 runs through the course of the tournament. He was the highest run-getter for the Mumbai side. De Kock also maintained his excellent record in IPL 2020, scoring 503 runs at the top of the order, at an average of 35.93.
4. Shikhar Dhawan - SRH to DC (IPL 2019)
Shikhar Dhawan was a key member of the Sunrisers Hyderabad setup prior to the 2019 edition of the IPL. He was in good form, scoring 497 runs at an average of 38.23 in IPL 2019.
However, the Hyderabad-based franchise sprung a surprise when they decided to trade the star opening batsman to the Delhi Capitals.
Ever since, Dhawan has been lethal with the willow at the top of the order for Delhi. In IPL 2019, Shikhar Dhawan scored a massive 521 runs through the course of the tournament - averaging 34.73 in the process. He went one better at IPL 2020, where he scored 618 runs including two consecutive 100+ scores.
5. Ashish Nehra – MI to DD: IPL 2009
Playing for the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural edition of the IPL, veteran bowler Ashish Nehra's performances were rather dull. The pacer picked up just 12 wickets in the 14 matches he played for his franchise.
Ahead of the 2009 edition of the cash-rich league, the Mumbai Indians decided to trade Nehra out to the Delhi Daredevils (Now Delhi Capitals) in exchange for the services of Shikhar Dhawan.
Come IPL 2009, Ashish Nehra turned out to be a completely different bowler. He picked up 19 wickets for the Delhi-based franchise at a superb economy rate of 6.51 during the tournament.
In the process, Ashish Nehra became the 3rd highest wicket-taker in IPL 2009 and proved to be a brilliant trade-in for the Delhi Daredevils.