A true rag to riches story, Sanjay Yadav has risen from abject poverty to the gates of World's most lucrative cricket league. His allround capabilities in the domestic arena have caught the eyeballs of many and people will be looking out for in the IPL 2020.
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Sanjay Yadav was a left-arm seamer until he turned 15. Then, he was told that he didn't have enough pace, so he turned into a left-arm fingerspinner and broke into the Tamil Nadu districts' side. He then worked his way up the ladder and evolved into a power-hitting allrounder in the 20-over Tamil Nadu Premier League.
After making a splash in the TNPL, Sanjay entered Tamil Nadu's T20 side in 2017, but with the state already well-stacked on the spin front, Sanjay opted to move out in search of more game time at Meghalaya.
On his Ranji debut against Nagaland Sanjay produced a magical spell of spin bowling and picked up 9 wickets for 52 runs and later followed it up with 8 for 31 against Puducherry.
Sanjay was in line to break Kedar Jadhav's record (300 off 285 balls v UP in 2012-13) to become the fastest triple-centurion in Ranji Trophy history during the 2019-20 season. However, Meghalaya declared on 662 for 4, with Sanjay unbeaten on 254 off 228 balls, including 23 fours and 13 sixes.
Sanjay's clutch performance attracted the attention of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had called him up for trials in Puducherry just days before the IPL 2020 auction last December. The match-simulation scenario given to every IPL aspirant was to hit or defend 70 runs in six overs. Sanjay claimed that he made an 18-ball 40, including four sixes, and conceded 18 runs in two overs. Sunrisers liked what they saw of him and picked him up at his base price of INR 20 lakh.
In 2017, Sanjay Yadav was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 10 lakh but he spent the entire season on the bench before being let go by the franchise.
Sanjay was born in 1995 in Gorakhpur, a city along the banks of Rapti river, in Uttar Pradesh. Sanjay's father Ramsingh Yadav was a daily-wage painter and his mother, Maya Devi, a homemaker. About five years later, the Yadavs moved to Hosur, an industrial town 40 kilometres away from Bangalore, with Ramsingh seeking better work opportunities.
Sanjay and his brother began playing tennis-ball cricket in school, but with the family running into severe financial stress, both the brothers were willing to give up the game. Premnath, who runs the Future India Cricket Academy in Hosur, though spotted both Sanjay and Sonu and offered to train them for free in addition to taking care of all their cricket expenses.