IPL 2022: Ben McDermott, Romario Shepherd eye maiden deals in mega auction;

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IPL 2022: Ben McDermott, Romario Shepherd eye maiden deals in mega auction;

IPL 2022: After going unsold in past seasons of the lucrative T20 tournament, Australian opener Ben McDermott and West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd are counting on their recent outstanding performances to land their first IPL contract.

McDermott finished an outstanding Big Bash League season by being named Player of the Tournament on Monday and earning a recall to Australia’s T20 squad for the upcoming Sri Lanka series.

With 577 runs at a strike rate of 153.86, the 27-year-old was also the BBL’s leading run scorer.

McDermott has never played in the IPL despite having played 17 T20Is and two ODIs for Australia. Last season, he went unsold.

“There’s not too much I can do now, it’s all up to those people in charge,” McDermott was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“I’m excited. It’s always an exciting time just to watch, last year I remember Riley Meredith getting picked up for the big bucks and sitting there watching him in our hotel rooms in quarantine in New Zealand.”

After a great BBL season last year, the Australian pace combo of Riley Meredith (Rs 8 crore) and Jhye Richardson (Rs 14 crore) secured lucrative contracts with Punjab Kings.

Shepherd, on the other hand, hammered an unbeaten 44 off 28 balls in the second T20 International in Bridgetown on Sunday, bringing West Indies within one run of England’s total.

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Under pressure, the 27-year-old hit five maximums and a four, as well as taking a wicket earlier in the game.

“I try to focus on what is at hand right now. And try and put my all in here,” Shepherd, who has entered February’s auction. With a Rs 75 lakh base price, was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNCricinfo’.

“Eventually, if an IPL contract comes, that would be great for me. I’m not saying that I don’t think about it. I do think about it, but I try not to think about it during a game. I just focus on wherever the game is and trying to get ourselves out of a situation,” he added.

Shepherd is one of 41 Caribbean players who have signed up for the mega auction.

“It’s a great platform. For any youngster, it’s their dream to go to the IPL and I’m no different. I’m trying my best to get myself in there, but at the same time trying to win a series here.

“It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time. My name was in the [auction] for the last three years, so this year, I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

The league is set to begin in the last week of March.

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