Young Saurashtra left-arm paceman Chetan Sakariya has become the newest crorepati in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after Rajasthan Royals outbid everyone at the auction held in Chennai on Thursday to sign him up for the upcoming season. Sakariya, 22, was one of the top performers for Saurashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy this year, picking up 12 wickets at a phenomenal average of just over 8 and an economy rate of 4.9.
After he was purchased by RR for Rs 1.2 crore, the youngster was busy attending to his phone, replying to congratulatory messages and at the same time, entertaining the unending queues of guests at his house. The day was a memorable one for him and his family but there was a tinge of sadness too with Sakariya remembering his late brother who died by suicide last month.
The road to landing a lucrative IPL contract hasn’t been an easy one for the budding paceman. It’s just been two years since his father left job as a tempo driver to feed his family in Vartej (Gujarat). They didn’t own a TV five years back forcing a young Sakariya to watch matches at his friend’s houses.
“My younger brother committed suicide in January,” Sakariya was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “I wasn’t at home, I was playing Syed Mushtaq Ali at that time. I didn’t know he had passed away until I returned home. Even then, my family didn’t share the news with me. I used to ask them about Rahul’s whereabouts and they would tell me ‘he has gone out’.
“Sometimes , they would say he had ventured out to buy groceries. This absence is a big void for me. Had he been here today he would have been more happy than me.”
Last season, he travelled to UAE with the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad as a net bowler where he impressed their coaching staff including assistant coach Simon Katich and head coach Mike Hesson.
Now, the first thing in Sakariya’s to-do list once he gets the money is to buy a house in a good locality.