IPL: Indian players who have never represented their hometown team
The Indian Premier League is, without doubt, the most watched, star-studded T20 cricket league in the world. Rivalries are part and parcel of sport and the IPL has taken Indian city rivalry to another level.
Though we began the inaugural edition with Sachin Tendulkar (MI), Sourav Ganguly (KKR), Virender Sehwag (DD), Rahul Dravid (RCB), Yuvraj Singh (KXIP) being named as the icon players of their respective city franchises, that local flavour and connect has been missing as players tend to move to different teams making it difficult for fans to always support their hometown.
Even after a decade, there have been few star Indian players who have never had the opportunity to play in front of their passionate hometown crowds. Here are some of those players:
#7 Murali Kartik
Matches: 56, Wickets: 31 Economy Rate: 7.24, Strike Rate: 37.06
Teams played for: Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors India, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab
Born in Chennai, Murali Kartik has quite stunningly never represented his hometown or home state in any form of cricket. The left-arm spinner started out in the Delhi junior system and represented Railways through his 18-year Ranji Trophy career.
Kartik was signed up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008. After 3 steady years, he moved on to Pune Warriors India. Pune's withdrawal from IPL meant that Kartik went back into the auction again and he was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013 as a replacement for Kiwi left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.
After a good season at Bangalore, Kartik was bought by Kings XI Punjab in 2014, where 2 horrendous games brought an end to his stop-start IPL career.