by Sarthak Sethi
There is this term known as black swan in literature which wikipedia defines as, “a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.” It wouldn’t be wrong to characterize the auction of Rashid Khan, the eighteen year old Afghan wonder in this year’s IPL as one such event. It was quite surprising to see an Afghan player and that too such a young leg spinner being sold at the IPL auction for 4 crore INR. By then some of the good Afghan players namely: Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Nabi, etc. had garnered some attention but still an eighteen year old being picked ahead of them meant that there was something special about this leggie.
The joy of being able to watch players from associate nations participating in IPL was just unimaginable and ineffable. And Rashid Khan did little wrong to prove his inclusion futile. Looking at his overall IPL stats so far, he bowled his entire quota of 52 overs in the 13 matches that he played and took 17 wickets at an average of 20.41 runs per wicket, strike rate of 18.35 balls per wicket and a staggering economy of 6.67 runs per over. He is listed at number 5 in the leading wicket-taker list as of now but just to highlight his achievement, his economy is second best in the top 10 wicket takers with Pawan Negi (6.12) being the best. Then again Negi bowled nearly 20 overs less than Rashid Khan. The next important aspect of Rashid’s bowling has been that 11 of the wickets that he claimed were of top 4 batsmen of the opposition teams in their respective matches and if we consider the top 5 batsmen then 16 of his wickets were of those batsmen. His wickets include Mandeep Singh, Travis Head, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch twice, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, David Miller, W Saha, Steve Smith, Eoin Morgan, Yusuf Pathan, Ben Stokes, Hardik Pandya, Dwayne Smith and Dinesh Karthik. Of these 7 are good players of spin and 6 left handers, still he managed to steal their wickets, it says a lot about his skills. He was considered the mystery spinner of this year’s IPL, teams started playing out his overs without trying to lose any wickets (which is evident from the Rashid’s conceded runs as a percentage of the total runs conceded by the team) and he still bagged the big guns every time he bowled.
|Match||Opposition||Rashid’s runs||Opposition runs||Rashid’s run %age|
I will be assuming the price of the top 3 wickets equal to Rs. 30 lakh each for a full time bowler and his top order wickets didn’t include Narine so it is quite safe to say that those wickets are the most valuable and it is not at all an overestimation, the price of the 4th wicket has been assumed to be Rs. 25 lakh, the price of 5th wicket equal to Rs. 20 lakh and the remaining wickets have been priced at Rs. 10 lakh each because these are hardly utilized in a highly productive manner. That makes his net worth calculated so far equal to Rs. 4.25 crore. But is that all? No, I don’t think so because nowhere have we accounted for the runs that he saved for the team in return for fewer wickets that he took since teams started playing him carefully. For that I have made speculations based on the data documented below:
|Rashid’s runs %age of the teams runs range||Price (in lakhs) INR per match|
Again the reasons for such a steep decrease in prices in this segment is simply because of the value that this statistic holds. The point is that the chances of a bowler conceding runs in the first basket of the above table are fairly low but the impact of this on the game will be really high and hence, such a high price. As we move down in the ranges, the occurrence becomes relatively more common and the impact on the game too tends to diminish. The reason for the negative value for the 25-30% basket is that this is detrimental for the team. The net worth calculations based on this leads Rashid to another INR 1.025 Crore thus, making his total to be INR 5.275 crore.
Even if people don’t agree with my net worth calculations, one thing that they will surely agree with that he at least justified the amount SRH bid for him meaning that I cannot be wrong by more than a factor of nearly 20%. For cricket to grow we need to put in more effort towards the involvement and development of associate nations. The ICC alone can’t do it majorly because of the lack of context of most international series (a hot topic of discussion these days too.) Tournaments like the IPL provide them with great opportunities to showcase their talents and learn and prosper under the guidance of world class players which is not possible even via all possible means that ICC may use in future. A possiblity could be that every team gets to pick 1 player from an associate nation without him being counted as an overseas player. It could prove to be a great move and we would get away from the debate of 4 vs 5 overseas players too. And it would be really great to see the likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Kevin o’Brien playing alongside Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, etc. At the end of the day cricket will definitely be the winner.