IPL 2017 auction gave plenty of surprises. One of them was Thangarasu Natarajan, who saw his life changing in a matter of minutes. The 25 year-old came to the IPL 2017 auction with Rs 10 lakh as his base price that took a quantum 30-time jump and reached Rs 3 crore when Virender Sehwag vigorously raised the pedal for Kings XI Punjab.
His eyes transfixed on the TV screen, Thangarasu Natarajan could not believe it as the bids for him kept on rising at a breakneck pace during the IPL auction.
Perhaps, T Natarajan remember the days of struggle and hardships, his mother used to run a street side stall and his father was a porter at a railway station.
The eldest of five siblings, Natarajan used to play cricket with his friends from a young age. However, Natarajan never played cricket with a cricket ball, he used to play with a tennis ball.
Thangarasu eventually moved to Chennai where he played for the popular Jolly Rovers, a club which has fielded big names like R Ashwin and Murali Vijay.
Thangarasu got his biggest break last year when he enjoyed a successful stint for Dindigul Dragons in the inaugural TNPL, attracting the attention of the IPL scouts.
Natarajan was shocked after the auction and one could sense the happiness in his words. While talking to the media, he said,
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It seems unreal. I never thought I would play in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, let alone the IPL. Very thankful that it has happened.
While recalling how TNPL gave him the much-needed exposure, Natarajan said,
There was a lot of pressure when I was picked to play in TNPL. But I am thankful to people like Ashwin, Vijay and L Balaji (TN bowling coach) who instilled the belief in me that I was good enough at the Ranji Trophy level. It was my dream to Ranji Trophy which has been fulfilled and now I look forward to meeting people in the IPL and learning from them.
Natarajan’s 2 years of consistent performances in Chennai club circles earned him a call-up to the Ranji Trophy 2015-2016.
T.Natarajan, who is now famously called ‘Mustafizur Rahman’ of Tamil Nadu, is looking forward to meet his role model, Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson, during the tournament.