The Indian Premier League, widely regarded as the Premier T20 competition in world cricket, has had its fair share of drama in its glittering 13-year history and has produced several cricketers who have gone on to become international superstars, both Indian as well as overseas.
Since the league's inception in 2008, players past and present have left a lasting impression with their performances and it could be argued that the popularity of limited-overs cricket has boomed in recent years, thanks to the competition. Aside from the glitz and glamour of the tournament, the tournament aimed to promote local talent and allow them to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world and in this sense, the IPL has been an unwavering success.
On that note, here are 5 of the youngest debutants in IPL history, as they are ranked based on their respective ages upon making their first appearance in the competition.
#5 Abhishek Sharma (17 years, 251 days)
Abhishek Sharma was part of India's triumphant World Cup U-18 squad and was snapped up by Delhi Daredevils at the time for ₹55 lakhs. While the youngster was largely a benchwarmer that season, he announced himself to the IPL in some style, as he scored a blistering 46 of just 19 balls.
Despite being just 17 years of age at the time, Abhishek was unfazed by the occasion and took on the RCB bowlers on the night, as he showed glimpses of his potential in his first appearance in the competition. Since then, Sharma has been traded to SRH in a move that saw Vijay Shankar and Shahbaz Nadeem travel in the opposite direction and is one amongst the up and coming Indian players in their ranks currently.
With Shakib Al Hasan unavailable for the forthcoming season due to a suspension, the youngster could be set to play a starring role for his side, as his inclusion in place of the Bangladeshi all-rounder would enable SRH to accommodate another foreign player.