Over the years, the Indian Premier League has been a fantastic platform for young talents to grow in competitive cricket. Many of them have helped the teams like Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Kolkata Knight Riders to lift the IPL trophy multiple times.
However, there have also been some players, who were a part of the IPL winning teams in the past, but are not known to the cricket fans. Although they did not have a larger impact on the performances or the title victory of the teams, they did well for their respective IPL teams or the national teams in the coming years.
Under the supervision of quality coaches and great staff, these youngsters gained much-needed experience after being a part of these illustrious teams and are quite renowned white-ball players for quite some time.
5 lesser-known players to have won an IPL trophy
5. Sanju Samson – Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2012
The present captain and the wicketkeeper of the Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson has also won an IPL trophy in the past. At the age of 17 in the 2011/12 season, he made his debut for the Kerala state team. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy of the same season, he garnered 69 runs in three appearances and was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for the Indian Premier League 2012.
However, Samson could not get to feature in any of the games amid tough competition with the presence of Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, and Manoj Tiwari. The Kolkata Knight Riders scripted history to lift the first-ever title in IPL history, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir.
The following year saw Samson making his debut in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and gradually earning a national call-up as well. In the 2021 edition, Samson registered his best ever run-tally of 484 runs and was retained ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. The wicketkeeper-batter will be hoping to win the title as a captain this season.
4. Axar Patel- Mumbai Indians in IPL 2013
Axar had a similar story of bagging an IPL contract as Samson, where he was picked by Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2013 auction after scoring 82 runs and picking three wickets in four fixtures of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2012. But, the spin all-rounder had tough competition in Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh, and could not get the opportunity to represent the team.
Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians won the Indian Premier League trophy for the first time in the history of the tournament. Quite interestingly, along with Axar the talented Yuzvdendra Chahal was also present in the same squad.
In the next edition, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab and returned as the second-highest wicket-taker for the team with 17 wickets in 17 fixtures. Since then he has been a success story in terms of his performance in the Indian Premier League as well as international cricket. In the 2022 edition, he plays for Delhi Capitals.
3. Deepak Hooda- Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2016
The middle-order batter Deepak Hooda made it to news headlines after being the second Baroda player to score a century on his first-class debut in 2014. In the following year, he marked his presence in the Indian Premier League. Although he scored 151 runs in 14 matches for Rajasthan Royals, he impressed everyone with a strike rate of around 160.
In the next edition, Sunrisers Hyderabad availed the services of Hooda for an amount of 4.2 Crores, which was 42 times his base amount of 10 Lakhs. Although he was average with 144 runs in 17 appearances and also featured in the final, the team secured their maiden IPL title victory.
The strong domestic cricket performances in the 2021/22 season earned him a place in the Indian Limited-overs squad. In the Indian Premier League 2022, Deepak Hooda is playing for the Lucknow Super Giants team.
2. Wriddhiman Saha- Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2011
The wicketkeeping-batter Wriddhiman Saha certainly needed a different decade for his playing career. With the presence of MS Dhoni, he could not get enough opportunities with the Indian team. After representing KKR from 2008 to 2010, Saha was bought by CSK in the 2011 edition to be the backup to Dhoni.
In seven appearances for CSK, Saha could manage to score only 68 runs. But, he surely marked his presence in the Chennai Super Kings Playing XI of Indian Premier League 2011, where the team lifted their second trophy and became the first team to successfully defend it as well.
After being in CSK from 2011 to 2013, Saha shifted to Kings XI Punjab and helped the team to reach the finals (IPL 2014) by scoring 362 runs in 17 matches. Thereafter, Saha was terrific for the Sunrisers Hyderabad team as well.
1. Thisara Perera- Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2010
The Sri Lankan all-rounder made his IPL debut in 2010 while playing for the Chennai Super Kings team. Although he could feature in only one game, where he bowled a single over and gave away 19 runs. In the same edition, CSK were successful in lifting their maiden IPL trophy.
After gaining knowledge of the conditions in India, Thisara played one of the key roles in taking the Sri Lanka team to the finals of the 2011 World Cup. He took seven wickets in four matches and scored 44 runs, with an unbeaten 22 coming in the Finals.
Coincidentally, Thisara has featured in a total of six IPL seasons from 2010-to 2016, barring 2015, and has represented six different teams as well. In 2021, he announced his retirement from international cricket.