In the first edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, the auction system was a bit different. Back then senior players took part in the auction but not junior cricketers. In that edition, U-19 players had a completely different draft system in which each team was allowed to pick two U-19 cricketers.
Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, had the chance of picking Virat Kohli, who had led India to the 2008 U-19 World Cup triumph but they didn’t proceed to the decision. The Delhi franchise instead went with left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan.
Delhi took that decision mainly because they thought their batting is pretty much stable with the likes of Virender Sehwag and AB de Villiers. After which, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked Kohli and rest as they say is history. This exciting story has been revealed by Sundar Raman, the former IPL Chief Operating Officer in the podcast with sports presenter Gaurav Kapur.
“Interestingly, that was also the year India had won the U-19 World Cup, just a month before the auction. Virat Kohli captained them and we decided to keep a separate draft for the U-19 players a few days after the auction. Surprise, surprise! Virat Kohli was not the first player to be picked in the draft,” said Raman.
“Delhi passed on him, actually, and picked Pradeep Sangwan instead, because they said they didn’t need another batsman. And they didn’t; actually, they had Virender Sehwag and AB de Villiers. They were right in their thinking, but RCB picked him up, and the rest, as they say, is history,” he added.
Interestingly, Sangwan played 28 games for Delhi in the first three IPL seasons and hasn’t yet debuted for the national team. Kohli, on the other hand, is currently the leading run-scorer in the lucrative league and captain of Indian national men’s cricket team.
In IPL, Kohli has played 177 games and accumulated 5,412 runs with six hundreds and 36 half-centuries. Even in the international T20 cricket set-up, Kohli is the highest run-getter having as many as 2794 runs in 82 matches at a phenomenal average of 50.80.