The air of uncertainty over the future of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League has grown dense after the spread of deadly COVID-19 has increased significantly. Over 300 people have tested positive for coronavirus so far, according to the latest figures.
While the IPL, at present, is suspended till April 15, many reports suggest that it is likely that the tournament will be deferred to next year, with the outbreak attaining dangerous levels with each passing day.
While no action – national or international – is currently taking place in cricket, we look at the rich past of Indian Premier League. The tournament, which is arguably the biggest T20 league in the world boasts of many glorious moments and memorable performances. However, the IPL is also lauded by a large section of former cricketers for the fact that it gave a platform to various youngsters bursting into the scene.
Many cricketers in the Indian senior team like Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya among others made their way into the international side courtesy their performances in the IPL. At the end of every tournament, IPL also awards the Emerging Player award to the best youngster in the season. In 2009, Rohit Sharma won the award – the rest, as they say, is history.
We take a look at the winners of Emerging Player award in every edition, and where are they at present.
2008 - Shreevats Goswami (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Goswami played only four matches in the inaugural edition of the IPL as he represented Royal Challengers Bangalore. He scored an important 52 in the league match against Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), which was enough to earn him the award.
Where is he now? He averaged 27.33 in the edition in which he won the Emerging Player award. The fact that it remains his highest average in a IPL season should tell you all you need to know about his career in the tournament. He has played 29 matches in the league, last appearing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018.
He is yet to make his international debut and represents Bengal in the domestic circuit. In 55 First-class matches, he has scored 2,534 runs at an average of 30.53.
2009 - Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers)
In 2009, the now-defunct Deccan Chargers lifted the IPL title, and one of the key performers for the side was Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai batsman scored 362 runs in 16 matches for the side, and was the third-highest run-scorer for them -- behind captain Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs. Rohit, who was primarily a batsman in the team, also produced a stunning display of bowling in the league match against Mumbai Indians (the side he would go on to captain), taking a hat-trick against them. Overall, he took 11 wickets in the edition.
Where is he now? India's vice-captain in limited-overs, for starters.
Rohit Sharma went on to become one of the most destructive limited-overs batsmen in modern-day cricket. Throughout the course of his career since, he smashed the record for the highest individual score in fifty-over cricket, scored three double-centuries in ODIs and has led Mumbai Indians to three IPL titles.
He has played 224 ODIs, scoring 9,115 runs at a brilliant average of 49.27. In Tests, he averages 46.54, scoring 2,141 runs in 32 matches.
2010 - Saurabh Tiwary (Mumbai Indians)
The Ranchi batsman initially attracted eyeballs for styling his hair similar to a fellow player from his hometown, who went to lead India to T20 World Cup glory in 2007 - MS Dhoni. However, he let his bat do the talking in the 2010 edition, where he slammed 419 runs in 16 matches for Mumbai Indians. His magnificent performance also earned him his first ODI cap in October later that year, against Australia.
Where is he now? Tiwary's performance in the 2010 season was his best throughout his career in IPL. He made his international debut in 2010, but has played only three ODIs so far - all in the same year.
2011 - Iqbal Abdulla (Kolkata Knight Riders)
The left-arm spinner came into limelight in the 2011 edition of the IPL, where he picked up 16 wickets in 15 matches, winning the Emerging Player of the year award. He also won two Man of the Matches award in the tournament.
Where is he now? Like Saurabh Tiwary, the 2011 edition was his best performance in the IPL. He failed to register double-figures in wickets ever since and hasn't appeared in the tournament in the last three years. The 30-year-old is yet to make his international debut.
2012 - Mandeep Singh (Kings XI Punjab)
Opening the batting with legendary wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, Mandeep scored 432 runs at an impressive strike-rate of 126.31 in the 2012 edition. He scored two half-centuries in the tournament. The side missed a berth for the play-off stage by merely a point, however.
Where is he now? Mandeep was signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014, but returned to KXIP last year. While he still plays regularly in the IPL, he couldn't secure a permanent spot in the Indian side. He has played three T20Is so far - all in the 2015 tour to Zimbabwe. While his numbers were decent (87 runs in 3 games with a half-century), he was not able to make a return to the side. He represents Punjab in the domestic circuit.
2013 - Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Samson was one of the key players for the Royals in 2013, helping them to reach the play-off stage of the tournament. He scored 206 runs in IPL 2013 in 11 matches, and also went on to represent India in the U-19 World Cup a year later.
Where is he now? Samson bettered on his performances with each edition of the tournament. In 2018, he delivered his best in the IPL, scoring 441 runs in 15 matches at an impressive strike-rate of 137.81. In the presence of MS Dhoni, however, he wasn't able to break into the senior team, but returned to the squad after Dhoni made himself unavailable for selection.
2014 - Axar Patel (Kings XI Punjab)
The 2014 edition was a golden one for Kings XI Punjab, who reached their maiden final in the tournament's history. Patel was at the centre of it, as he took 17 wickets in as many matches for the side at a brilliant economy rate of 6.23. He also proved handy with the bat in one of the games for the side, playing a match-winning innings of 42* to steer the side to four-wicket victory.
Where is he now? Like Samson, Patel also built on a solid start to his IPL career, becoming a mainstay in the tournament. He has picked 71 wickets in 82 matches in the tournament so far, and also honed his batting skills along the way, scoring 796 runs. He was a regular for the Indian team between 2015-2017, but lost his place after the emergence of spinners like Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the side. He has played 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is so far.
2015 - Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils)
Iyer was brilliant in the 2015 edition for the Daredevils, scoring 439 runs in 14 matches at an average of 33.76. He slammed four half-centuries in the edition, with a highest score of 83.
Where is he now? Even as he had a forgettable 2016 season with the franchise, he made an impressive comeback in the upcoming seasons and was also named the permanent captain of the side in 2019. He is a regular in the limited-overs format for the Indian team, and solved the long-standing dilemma for the number four position in the side with strong performances - both, in ODIs and T20Is.
2016 - Mustafizur Rahman (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Bangladesh's premier fast bowler was the first overseas player to win the award. He took 17 wickets at a superb economy rate of 6.90 and helped the SRH side win its first IPL trophy.
Where is he now? He is the leading pacer for Bangladesh across all the three formats. He was bought by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2018 season, picking up 7 wickets in as many matches for the side. He has played 13 Tests, 56 ODIs and 37 T20Is for Bangladesh so far.
2017 - Basil Thampi (Gujarat Lions)
Thampi picked up 11 wickets in 12 matches for Gujarat Lions in his first season in IPL. His ability to extract pace was one of the major talking points of the season. After the franchise was withdrawn from the tournament, he was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Where is he now? Thampi was retained by the SRH ahead of the 2019 season of the IPL. However, he only made 3 appearances in the season. Thampi represents Kerala in the domestic circuit, and has played 35 First-class matches and 24 List A games for the side so far.
2018 - Rishabh Pant (Delhi Daredevils)
Arguably the best among all the winners of the Emerging Player award in terms of performances, Pant smacked 684 runs in 14 matches at a staggering strike-rate of 173.60 in the 2018 season. He also scored a hundred, remaining unbeaten on 128 in just 63 balls against SRH.
Where is he now? Rishabh Pant is the first-choice wicketkeeper in the longest format of the game for the senior side. However, he failed to maintain the same role in the limited-overs after MS Dhoni's unavailability. He lost his place to KL Rahul in January this year after a series of inconsistent performances with the bat. However, he continues to be in the limited-overs squad as a second-choice keeper-batsman.
2019 - Shubman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Gill burst into the scene after a strong performance in the 2018 U-19 World Cup, where he was named the Player of the Series. In the 2019 season, he scored 296 runs in 14 matches for KKR at an average of 32.88.
Where is he now? Widely regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in Indian cricket circuit, Gill is a regular in India A's tours. He is currently a part of India's Test and ODI squad and made his debut in the fifty-over format last year against New Zealand.