Cheteshwar Pujara never got an opportunity to play an IPL match at Rajkot as he went unsold at the 2016 and 2017 auctions. Ahead of the forthcoming IPL 2021, India’s Test batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara has revealed he was left disappointed when Gujarat Lions did not pick him for the 2016 and 2017 editions.
Dysfunctional Gujarat Lions’ home base was in Rajkot, which also happens to be his hometown. The side secured the services of his Saurashtra and India teammate Ravindra Jadeja but failed to show interest in him at the auction.
Cheteshwar Pujara Was Disappointed That He Wasn’t Picked In IPL 2016-17 Auctions
Cheteshwar Pujara, while speaking to Cricbuzz, stated he would have loved to don the Gujarat Lions jersey.
“Well, I was disappointed that I was not picked. But that was not in my control. It would have been nice if I was part of that side. That is in the past and I have moved on,” Cheteshwar Pujara said.
The Gujarat Lions joined the IPL along with the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. The BCCI introduced the two new franchises after suspending the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings for two seasons. Unfortunately, Cheteshwar Pujara never got an opportunity to play an IPL match at Rajkot as he went unsold at the 2016 and 2017 auctions. A Test specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara has often been out of favour for limited-overs cricket.
Cheteshwar Pujara Played 30 IPL Matches
While he is an automatic selection when it comes to Tests, he has been away from the white-ball limited-overs team since 2014. He first made it to the ODI team in 2013 and made his debut against Zimbabwe in July that year. His ODI career is only 5 games so far and he has been away from the squad since then. A regular in IPL from 2008 to 2014, he has been away from IPL since 2014 when he represented KXIP.
He has played 30 matches in the cash-rich league IPL, scoring 390 runs in 22 innings. He has one fifty to his name in the format. The 33-year-old, who last batted in IPL in 2014, was bought by three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the 2021 IPL auctions.
After completing the mandatory one-week quarantine period, in accordance with BCCI’s SOP, Cheteshwar Pujara donned the yellow jersey for the first time on Monday when he hit the nets for his first-ever CSK session before IPL 2021. He was accompanied by fellow new recruits in Krishnappa Gowtham and Robin Uthappa.