Robin Uthappa, the former India batsman has opened up on what goes through the mind of a cricketer during an Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, where a player’s value becomes about how much somebody is willing to spend on you.
During the recent IPL mega auction, defending champions Chennai Super Kings re-signed Robin Uthappa for his base price of Rs 2 crore. The explosive batsman had chipped in with valuable innings in last season’s playoffs after being given a chance late in CSK’s campaign in the UAE following Suresh Raina’s poor form.
Robin Uthappa Opines That It’s Not A Most Pleasing Feeling To See IPL Auctions And Wants A More Respectful Draft System Instead
Robin Uthappa vitally scored 63 off 44 balls during the first Qualifier followed by a knock of 31 off 15 in the final to beat Kolkata Knight Riders. While Robin Uthappa admitted that he and his family had hoped that he would go back to CSK, the 36-year-old candidly spoke of how vulnerable a player can be while watching their name come up at an IPL auction.
“Playing for a team like CSK was something I desired, it was one of my only prayers: let’s get back to CSK. My family, even my son, prayed for that, which is special for me. I’m happy to be back in a place where there’s a sense of security and a sense of respect,” Uthappa, who played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for India between 2006 and 2015, said.
Robin Uthappa opened up about his own fight with depression, battling suicidal thoughts and wanting to quit cricket at the height of his career. As elated as he was to have found a spot in CSK’s roster, Robin Uthappa advocated for the IPL to shift to a draft system rather than the auctions.
“The auction feels like an examination which you have written a long time ago, and you’re just awaiting the results. You feel like cattle (commodity), to be honest,” he said.
“It’s not the most pleasing feeling, and I think that’s the thing about cricket, especially in India… everything about you is there for the world to consume and then judge and express their opinions about it. Having an opinion about performances is one thing, but having an opinion on how much you get sold for is quite something else.”
“You can’t imagine what the guys who don’t get sold go through. My heart goes out to guys who have been there for a long time and then miss out and don’t get picked. It can be defeating sometimes.
“Suddenly your value as a cricketer becomes about how much somebody is willing to spend on you. I really hope for the sake of the sanity of everybody that this goes into a draft system where it is more respectful.”
The consistently proven match-winner, Robin Uthappa, was traded to Chennai Super Kings by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2021 Player Auction. He had joined the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2020 season and played 12 games for them. Earlier, he was one of KKR’s stars in the title-winning efforts in 2012 and 2014.
Robin Uthappa Owes Being Part Of Chennai Super Kings And He Wants To Finish His Carrier With CSK
Ahead of the IPL 2022, which begins in just over a month’s time, Robin Uthappa is geared up for another successful season with four-time winners CSK, hoping to end his playing career with them.
“The expectation is to contribute to the success of the team,” he said. ” I love being a part of the team. I love the hard work that’s involved in it. I have this new lease wherein I want to play as much as I physically can. God-willing to finish my career with a team like CSK. “
Apart from Deepak Chahar (14 crores), Ambati Rayudu (6.75 crores) and Dwayne Bravo (4.4 crores) were CSK’s most prized picks at the auction. Shivam Dube (4 crores) and Chris Jordan (3.6 crores) were the only other players that cost them more than two crores. Chennai Super Kings bought 21 players during IPL 2022 auction.
Out of 14 seasons, the franchise CSK has played 12 as they were banned in 2016 and 2017. The team has won the trophy four times in IPL 2010, IPL 2011, IPL 2018, and IPL 2021. The franchise has also reached the playoffs 11 times out of 12 seasons.