For Laluís son, IPL is money for nothing

Tejashwi
Here is an Indian Premier League (IPL) trivia before the fifth season gets underway in a week's time: Name the player who hasn't featured in domestic cricket since 2010, who has been part of the same IPL squad for five seasons, and who is yet to get a game.

The answer is Tejashwi Yadav, the son of former railway minister and and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

His limited cricket CV includes one domestic game for Jharkhand against Vidarbha in the Plate Division ó during which he posted his highest score of 19 in the second innings ó two one-day games and four Twenty20 matches.

Yet the Daredevils have retained him in the squad since the inaugural edition in 2008, while a combination of team dynamics, form and availability has seen top players like Gautam Gambhir, Daniel Vettori, Tilakaratne Dilshan, AB deVilliers being traded.

Tejashwi isn't the only contracted IPL player to not have got a game in the first four seasons though. Jaydev Shah, son of former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, has been part of Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers without getting a single game.

Jaydev, however, has proved his worth on the domestic circuit. He captained Saurashtra to its first-ever one-day title in 2007-08 and has four centuries and 12 half-centuries in first class cricket.

By virtue of being part of Delhi Daredevils, Tejashwi continues to get paid handsomely. Sources in the team camp said he has been paid between Rs 30-40 lakh over the past four seasons.

In their defence, the Daredevils management says it is their prerogative to hand out contracts to players and decide whom to retain.

The 22-year-old has rarely been part of the Daredevils touring squad either. On Wednesday, he joined the on-going Delhi Daredevils camp four days after it commenced.

Asked about it, Tejashwi said: "There was an important family function I had to attend and that is why I couldn't report for the camp earlier." He also claims a ligament problem kept him away from play for the last couple of seasons. "But I am fit now."

About being constantly on the bench, the youngster says he has mixed emotions. "It has been frustrating for me. Others have played but I am still waiting for my opportunity. But as much as I want to play, it's also about the right team combination and there are so many other good all-rounders. It has been nice to be in the company of so many international players and it's good to share the dressing room with them," he says.

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