Rajasthan Royal's Sanju Samson © IANS
Sanju Samson played for the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 IPL season © IANS

Jan 8, 2014

 

Sanju Samson is set to become the youngest cricketer to earn an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract that would amount close to Rs 4 Crores.

 

At 19 years and 58 days, Samson, is set to be the youngest entrant in the IPL’s rich list after deciding to extend his association with Rajasthan Royals, who were keen to have the young wicketkeeper batsman’s services, according to Times of India.

 

The dashing stroke-player from Kerala scored a scintillating ton against Pakistan in the Under-19 Asia Cup final helped India clinch the trophy.

 

Samson was one of the finds of the tournament in last season’s IPL after some timely knocks put him in the spotlight. His team, Rajasthan however took the center-stage for the wrong reasons with three of their main players being found guilty of spot-fixing.

 

Under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) guidelines for IPL 7, if a franchise decides to retain an uncapped player he must be paid Rs 4 crore. Sources, however, indicated Samson may get less than that amount, though it will be substantially more than the Rs 10 lakh the player got for his efforts last year, read the report.

 

Since the last edition of the IPL, Samson has grabbed the eyeballs of cricket fans across the country and other franchises would have made a beeline at his doorstep had he decided to put himself up for grabs in the auction, but the level headed youngster pledged his loyalty to Rajasthan.

 

“Money was not the criteria. Royals gave him the platform to showcase his talent last season. So it is in the best interests of the player to continue his association with the same team. He is just 19 and I think Rajasthan will offer him the maximum opportunity, which is important for a player like Sanju,” a source said. 

 

Another important factor which led to Samson’s stay is the importance of Indian legend Rahul Dravid’s presence as a mentor, despite hanging up his boots in the Champions League T20 last season. Samson has sung innumerable praises over the ‘The Wall’s’ influence on him as cricketer and as a person.

 

Samson burst on to the scene last season by carting some of the top bowlers in world cricket all round the park. He scored 206 runs from 11 matches at an impressive strike rate of 115.73.

 

He further enhanced his reputation in the Champions League T20, leading Royal’s fight in the final with 47-ball 60 in the final against Mumbai Indians. If he can replicate last year’s form this season, the selectors might soon be drafting him in the national team.