The Indian Premier League (IPL) is by far the biggest domestic T20 cricket tournament in the world. It has been a big platform for the best Indian and foreign players to showcase their talent and earn big money.
The presence of the best foreign talent is one of the reasons why the IPL is so popular around the globe. Some overseas players have become synonymous with their teams, like AB de Villiers with RCB or Dwayne Bravo with CSK.
But not all big-name overseas players have made their mark in the IPL and some have been forgotten.
During the initial years of the tournament, when T20 cricket was in its infancy, and teams were still trying to figure out the format, the IPL teams picked some reputed red-ball batsmen, who struggled in the shortest format of cricket.
Given what we know about T20 cricket now, these selections seem very strange indeed. Here are four very surprising overseas Test specialists to have featured in the IPL.
#1 Damien Martyn
The Australian middle order batsman was a permanent fixture in the legendary all-conquering Australian Test side of the 90s.
Martyn played 67 Tests for Australia and scored 4406 runs, finishing with a batting average of 46.37 and scored 13 centuries.
Martyn wasn’t purely a Test specialist. He also played 208 ODIs for Australia, scoring 5346 runs with five hundred and 37 50s.
What made his selection by Rajasthan Royals for $100,000 in the 2010 season so strange was that Damien Martyn had retired from international cricket four years before the first edition of the tournament.
The move didn’t prove to be a success as Martyn played just one game scoring 19 runs at a pedestrian strike rate of 79.
Martyn never played another game in the IPL after that, and even the most ardent of IPL fans have forgotten that he ever played in the IPL.
#2 Younis Khan
Younis Khan is unarguably one of the finest Test batsmen of all time. He has played over 100 Tests for Pakistan, scored 10099 runs, hit 34 hundreds and boasts a batting average of 52.02.
He was far from purely a Test specialist and had a very healthy white-ball career as well. He played multiple ODI World Cups for Pakistan and was the captain of the Pakistan team that won the 2009 T20 World Cup.
The Pakistan batting maestro was picked in the inaugural IPL by eventual champions Rajasthan Royals for a hefty sum of $225,000.
Younis warmed the bench for the bulk of the tournament and only got his opportunity to play in the final group game, by which point the Royals had already secured a playoff berth.
Younis’s innings lasted just five balls and he was bowled by an Irfan Pathan inswinger after scoring three runs.
Younis Khan never got the chance to display his talents in the IPL again, and by now most fans have forgotten that he was involved in the league at one point.