The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most celebrated T20 league in the world. The two month long cricket extravaganza offers plenty of entertainment for the crowd and a hefty pay for the tickets. Therefore, all the top players from across the world flock the IPL auction list to show their skills in front of packed stadiums.
Most of these star players have performed outstandingly in the IPL. However, while some of them have sustained the performance for many years, others have dazzled the stage for a brief period before disappearing into oblivion. Everyone can name the players that fall in the former category.
This article focuses on the latter – the international players who have had great success in T20s but have only done well briefly in the IPL.
A professional skier who competed at FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup events until 1999, Dirk Nannes played international T20s for both Australia and the Netherlands.
Nannes is the leading wicket taker in the Twenty20 Big Bash, which was the predecessor of Big Bash League and lasted from 2005-06 to 2010-11. Nicknamed Cyclone for his bowling speed, Nannes was instrumental in Victorian Bushrangers’ title wins in 2007-08 and 2009-10.
He was signed by Delhi Daredevils in 2009. Nannes was so impressive that the Delhi outfit was forced to leave Glenn McGrath on the bench. Nannes finished the 2009 season with 15 wickets helping his team top the league table. He had a less productive season in 2010 but still bowled quite well.
His good showings were rewarded when he fetched USD 650,000 in the 2011 auction. However, he sustained a side strain two matches into the season and was promptly replaced with Chris Gayle by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. With Gayle proving to be RCB’s trump card that season, Nannes failed to regain his berth.
Later in 2013, Chennai Super Kings signed him to bolster their weak pace attack but he proved to be way too expensive and inconsistent. Nannes did not find a buyer in 2014 and the same fate continued in 2015 as the highest wicket taker of 2010 ICC World T20 faded into oblivion.
Unlike the others on the list, Ross Taylor has a long and successful test career to show for his talent. The mainstay of the New Zealand batting in the late 2000s and early 2010s, he has guided his team through the transition phase like a champion.
An aggressive top-order batsman, Taylor has snapped up by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural season of the IPL. He could play just 4 matches that season due to international commitments. However, he scored 149 runs at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 184 in those matches. He had a more sedate but consistent tournament in 2009 when he helped the RCB reach their maiden IPL final. Later that year, he helped Victorian Bushrangers win their fourth T20 Big Bash title playing as one of the two overseas players. He was also the top scorer in the HRV T20 Cup and played a match-winning 30-ball 80 in the final to clinch the title for the Central District Stags.
His form, however, deserted him in 2010 and RCB chose not to retain his services. In the next auction, Rajasthan Royals signed him. Underused for major part of the season, he was transferred to Delhi, where he had a poor season averaging under 20 with only 1 fifty in 12 matches in 2012. The Delhi franchise traded him for local lad Ashish Nehra to Pune Warriors, where his performance – just like his franchise’s – was disappointing.
In red hot form in international cricket, Taylor was signed up by the Delhi Daredevils in 2014 as the franchise looked to re-vamp a side that had finished wooden-spooners. However, neither Taylor nor the Daredevils showed any recovery of form and he was dumped by the franchise again. In the 2015 auction, Taylor faced the embarrassment of going unsold for the first time.
Some players are meant for T20 cricket. Cameron White is one such player. A powerful hitter who could clear the boundary at will, White was destined to thrive in T20 cricket. Blessed with an astute cricketing brain, he became the youngest player to lead Victoria in 2003-04. He also captained the Bushrangers team that won T20 Big Bash title three time in a row from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
His reputation earned him an IPL contract in 2008 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he played for the first three seasons. His returns, however, were dismal. He never touched 40 with the bat and failed to take a single wicket with his canny leg spin.
In the 2011 auction, he was purchased by the Deccan Chargers in the auction for USD 1.1 million and was appointed the vice-captain of the team. He re-paid the faith of the franchise the following year when he scored 479 runs with an average of 43.54, and a strike rate of 149.68, with a high score of 78 from 13 innings. He was also the captain of the Australian T20 team at that time.
Next year, he led the newly formed Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in their debut IPL season. Even though the team did well under him reaching the play-offs, White’s own form was poor. He was thus released by the team and has not had any luck in the IPL auctions thereafter.
At 31, White still has a chance to improve his IPL numbers. However, a slump of form has recently resulted in White losing his contract with the Melbourne Stars, a franchise that he captained for 3 years, in 2015 and the road ahead seems tough for him.
A prolific batsman in all formats of the game, Brad Hodge is one of the unluckiest batsmen in the history of cricket. His career coincided with arguably the strongest batting line-up that ever existed. The result was Hodge playing only 6 Test matches (even though he averaged almost 56) and 25 ODIs.
T20 came a little late in Hodge’s career but he took to the format like a duck to water. He was the top run scorer in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons of the Big Bash as his team Victoria won the tournament both times, that too without losing a match. Hodge also became the first man to score a century in Big Bash, scoring 106 off 54 balls in the final of the inaugural season.
His consistency got him a call in the IPL as Kolkata Knight Riders signed him as a replacement for Ricky Ponting in 2008. He played 3 matches for the franchise without much success that season. It was in the second edition that Hodge showed the glimpses of his genius. Hodge, the top run scorer in T20s at the time, scored 365 runs at an average of over 40 for the struggling KKR outfit.
After spending a moderately successful 2011 season with the now defunct Kochi Tuskers, Hodge was bought by Rajasthan Royals in 2012 for USD 475,000. He was brilliant for the Jaipur outfit playing match-winning cameos from time to time. Despite being a top order batsman for the major part of his career, Hodge looked comfortable in his role as a finisher for the Royals.
The 2014 season was not fruitful for Hodge as younger players like Steven Smith and James Faulkner got more opportunities than him. He was subsequently released and found no buyers in the 2015 auction.
David ‘Bomber’ Hussey came into the 2008 IPL auctions as one of the star attractions. The younger Hussey had played a pivotal role in Victorian Bushrangers’ Big Bash title win in 2007-08. He was the second highest run scorer in the tournament with 3 half centuries in 6 matches. He was also named the Player of the Tournament for his match-winning contributions throughout the event. No wonder he was signed for a massive USD 625,000 by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
An aggressive batsman with a strong bottom-hand technique, Hussey had a good year for KKR finishing with 319 runs with 2 fifties. Hussey, however, played only 10 games in the next 2 seasons. He was unavailable for selection for major parts of those seasons having made it the national team by then.
Hussey’s reputation as a T20 batsman had enhanced further by the time he approached the 2011 IPL auctions. He was bought for a whopping USD 1.4 million by Kings XI Punjab, making him the second highest earning foreign player of the auction. After a disappointing 2011 season, Hussey scored 396 runs in the 2012 edition and even led the Punjab franchise in 9 matches.
His form nosedived thereafter as he failed to reach fifty in 12 attempts in 2013 and was subsequently released by Kings XI as they revamped their team. Hussey was roped in by Chennai Super Kings in 2014 as a replacement of Dwayne Bravo but spent bulk of the season on the bench. He was released by the franchise in the following year and failed to attract a bid in the 2015 auction.