Starry spectacle: How the icon players fared in IPL 2008

Cricket's biggest names flocked to India in April 2008 to be a part of the IPL. A look at how the icon players performed during the first season.

In full flow: Sourav Ganguly attempts a pull during an IPL 2008 contest between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers. - G. KRISHNASWAMY

Cricket's biggest names flocked to India in April 2008 to be a part of the new experiment that was the Indian Premier League (IPL).

And the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was set for a billion-dollar windfall. The conductor of the show - then IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, orchestrated a symphonic play: an enigmatic synthesis of India's two timeless classics: cricket and bollywood.

Icon Players

The inaugural edition saw the introduction of Icon Players - legends of Indian cricket who can play for their home city in the league.

As per the rules laid down by the IPL governing council in consultation with the eight franchises, these icon players were not part of the bidding process.

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In addition to that, the icon players were guaranteed to get paid at least 15 per cent more than the next-best paid player in the team.

Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai Indians), Sourav Ganguly (Kolkata Knight Riders), Rahul Dravid (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Yuvraj Singh (Kings XI Punjab) were initially included in the icon players'  category.

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However, the Delhi and Hyderabad franchises requested to include Virender Sehwag and V. V. S. Laxman as icon players. While Sehwag, the former India opener, was included as an icon player for Delhi Daredevils, legendary middle-order batsman Laxman withdrew his name from the list.

How the icon players fared

Sachin Tendulkar - Mumbai Indians

Tendulkar was absent in the initial stages of the IPL and when he returned, the Master Blaster didn't exactly set the batting stage on fire.

Tendulkar played in seven matches and scored 188 runs at an average of 31.33. His highest score was a 46-ball 65 against Kings XI Punjab that the Mohali outfit won by just one run.

Sourav Ganguly - Kolkata Knight Riders

The Prince of Calcutta scored 349 runs in 12 matches he played at an average of 29.08. The Kolkata skipper smashed a brilliant 57-ball 91 - his highest that season as well as overall - against Kings XI Punjab in a winning cause.

With the ball, Dada took six wickets with 2 for 21 his best bowling figures.

Rahul Dravid - Royal Challengers Bangalore

The former India captain made 371 runs at an average of 28.53 in the 14 matches he played.

Dravid made an unbeaten 75 - his highest in the 2008 season against Rajasthan Royals. His knock, which came in a losing cause, still remains his best score in overall IPL.

Virender Sehwag lines up for a big hit in a contest against Kings XI Punjab. He scored more than 400 runs in the first IPL season. - S. SUBRAMANIUM

 

Virender Sehwag - Delhi Daredevils

The Nawab of Najafgarh stood 10th in the 2008 batting chart that was topped by Shaun Marsh.

In his 14 appearances for the Delhi side, Sehwag amassed 406 runs at an average of 33.83 with three fifties to his credit. His best of an unbeaten 94 came against now-defunct Deccan Chargers in a winning cause.

With his off-spin, Sehwag picked three wickets, bowling 11 overs overall with best figures of 1 for 2.

Yuvraj Singh - Kings XI Punjab

The Kings-XI Punjab skipper finished in the 20th position in the batting charts and that speaks about his lukewarm performance with the bat in the inaugural IPL.

In 15 matches, Yuvraj made 299 runs at an average of 23.00. His highest was a 34-ball 57 against Rajasthan Royals, which came in a losing cause.

With the ball, the World Cup-winning all-rounder managed to pick just three wickets with 2 for 12 as his best.

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