The Indian Premier League (IPL), right from its inception, has helped young and talented cricketers get noticed on the international stage. Several Indian and overseas cricketers have benefitted from the structure of the tournament and have fast-tracked their cricketing careers to make it to the national team.
Overseas players who featured in the IPL, but have never played a T20 International
Over the years, IPL franchises have given chances to uncapped overseas players who have had a great run in domestic cricket. Some foreign players have featured in the IPL post their retirement from the international format of the game.
That being said, we take a look at 5 such overseas players who have featured in the IPL but haven't played a single T20I game for their country.
#1 Shane Warne
It might be surprising to learn that Shane Warne, despite being one of the most successful spinners in modern cricket, has never featured in a T20I game in Australian colors.
Warne, however, has featured in 55 IPL games for the Rajasthan Royals. The legendary leg spinner also led the Rajasthan franchise to their first and only IPL title to date, back in 2008. The spin genius last featured in IPL 2011 before he retired from the game.
#2 Darren Lehmann
Darren Lehmann was another regular figure to be seen in the Australian squad. However, his last appearance in international cricket was back in 2005 when he featured in an ODI against Pakistan.
The Australian batsman, however, featured as part of the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2008. He played just 2 games and scored 18 runs before shifting his career to coaching. He went on to become the coach of the Deccan Chargers franchise for IPL 2009 and helped them win their maiden IPL title.
Lehmann has been part of 2 ODI World Cup-winning squads for Australia, but never made it to the Australian T20I side.
#3 Aiden Blizzard
The left-handed batsman was immensely successful in the Australian domestic circuit. He was subsequently identified and picked up by the Mumbai Indians franchise for IPL 2011.
Blizzard went on to open the batting for Mumbai Indians alongside Sachin Tendulkar for a few games in IPL 2011 and IPL 2012. He featured in 7 IPL games and scored 120 runs throughout the course of his IPL career.
However, it was unfortunate that Aiden Blizzard was never able to impress the Australian selectors to make it into the national squad.
#4 Graham Napier
Graham Napier is considered to be one of the most gifted all-rounders in cricket. He caught the eye of the Mumbai Indians franchise after he scored 152 runs off 58 deliveries in an English domestic tournament. He was subsequently acquired by the Mumbai franchise in IPL 2009, but featured in just one game for the team.
Napier was a quick bowler who could consistently bowl at over 140 kmph. He was also a big hitter who could club long sixes down the order to boost the team's total.
Despite all the talent, he never got a chance to feature in a T20I for his national team. Even though Napier was selected as part of the English squad for the T20I World Cup, he didn't feature in a single game.
#5 Hardus Viljoen
The right-arm fast bowler from South Africa was a part of the Kings XI Punjab squad in IPL 2019 and 2020. For the 2021 season, he has been roped in by the Chennai Super Kings franchise as a net bowler. Hardus Viljoen has played one Test match for South Africa, but has yet to feature in an ODI or a T20I match.
During his 2-year stint with the Punjab franchise, Viljoen featured in 6 matches and picked up 7 wickets. The South African is also known for his cameos down the order to help boost the team's total.
Looking at his consistency and skill, Hardus Viljoen could well be in line for a national call-up soon. However, as of now, he remains an uncapped T20I player who has featured in the IPL.