The IPL 2023 auction set to take place this week and 405 players will go under the hammer – here are the five youngest players on the auction list.
Young players have a history of gaining worldwide fame at the very beginning of their careers through being picked up by an IPL franchise, with Mujeeb ur Rahman, Riyan Parag and Sarfaraz Khan all making their IPL bows before their 18th birthdays. This year there is only one player aged under-18 up in the auction, Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar having yet to celebrate his 16th birthday.
The next four youngest players are all from India with a couple of big names from the 2022 under-19 World Cup winning squad.
IPL auction 2023: Five youngest players in the auction list
*All ages as of IPL 2023 auction day (December 23, 2022)
Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar – 15 years 161 days
A teenage spinning prodigy from Afghanistan, Ghazanfar is the youngest player in this year’s auction at just 15 years old. He was less than a year old when the first edition of the IPL was played in 2008 and was picked up by Mis Ainak Knights – one of Afghanistan’s eight regional first-class cricket teams – after impressing in local under-16 cricket. As a right-arm finger-spinner who can turm the ball both ways, he struggled in the Pakistan Junior League held earlier this year where he took figures of 0-40 against Gwadar Sharks.
Nevertheless, Ghazanfar could become the latest in the prestigious ranks of Afghan spinners, plucked from obscurity to make their names in the IPL, following in the footsteps of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Sakib Hussain – 18 years 9 days
Hussain made his debut in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year, taking a four-wicket haul in his second match against Gujarat. A right-arm pacer with good variations, he could interest franchises with his potential and ability to move the ball off the pitch. Having only played two senior T20 matches for Bihar they will have limited evidence on which to select him.
Kumar Kushagra – 18 years 61 days
As an opening batter who also keeps wicket, Kushagra played for India in the 2020 under-19 World Cup aged just 16, featuring in one match against Japan where he scored 13* off 11. He made his professional debut for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year and made his first-class debut in February 2022. A month later he scored a brilliant double-century in the Ranji Trophy which included 37 fours and two sixes in his 266 from 269 balls. He may still be a teenager, but Kushagra is one of the most exciting young talents in the world at the minute.
Shaik Rasheed – 18 years 90 days
Rasheed is a former India under-19 captain and was vice-captain in the 2022 under-19 World Cup. He made 90* off 108 balls in the under-19 Asia Cup and scored 31* in the final. He had a quieter start in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but made his maiden first-class fifty earlier this year for Andhra.
Dinesh Bana – 18 years 99 days
Under-19 World Cup winning wicketkeeper Bana could also be an attractive option for one of the franchises looking for a finisher. He caught public attention when he hit two sixes to win the under-19 World Cup for India earlier this year, he played six matches in the tournament and scored 63 runs with a strike rate of 190.90.