In cricket, a player’s attitude towards his team often decides his popularity among fans. Specifically, in tournaments such as the IPL, loyalty is valued more than anything else. Only a few players have remained with an IPL team through thick and thin. In this article, we will look at five popular players who have represented only one IPL team.
#5 Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan made headlines in 2016 when he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Part of the reason was his nationality, as he was the first Afghan player to represent an IPL franchise. He was also only 17 years old when he played his first IPL game.
With every passing season, Khan’s impact on the tournament has increased. As his numbers show, Rashid Khan is the world’s best T-20 bowler and the most important player in the SRH setup. He could very well remain at SRH for the rest of his career, as he is beloved by the fanbase and well respected by the franchise owners.
#4 Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine is among the star players who have represented only one IPL team. Sunil Narine’s first season at KKR is unforgettable as he changed the notion that spinners are expensive in T-20s. He picked up 24 wickets at an outstanding economy of 5.47 and won the man of the tournament award. In 2014, he was once again KKR’s leading wicket-taker as they won the title for the second time.
Narine’s impact at KKR has decreased over the past few seasons after a change in his action. However, he has re-invented himself as a pinch hitter and could yet be a crucial part of KKR’s future.
#3 Lasith Malinga
Malinga is the most prolific bowler in the history of IPL and a certified Mumbai Indians legend. While every bowler feared bowling at the death, Malinga saw it as an opportunity to showcase his talent. His toe crushing yorkers were a menace for batsmen, and he also possessed several variations.
Malinga represented Mumbai Indians in nine seasons of IPL and picked up 170 wickets. After retiring from cricket, he is now part of the Mumbai Indians coaching setup. Malinga’s records might be broken in the future, but his iconic action and death over heroics will be a part of IPL’s folklore for a long.
#2 Kieron Pollard
Pollard has been part of the Mumbai Indians team for 12 seasons, with his first campaign in 2010 ending in a painful final defeat. In the 2010 final, he scored 27 runs from 10 balls, but his cameo was not enough. He avenged the defeat in 2013 with a 32 ball 60 that took Mumbai to a respectable total of 148 and eventually won them the title.
Since then, he has played unforgettable knocks in crucial knockout games for Mumbai Indians. He played an absolute blinder against CSK before the pandemic struck, and could very well be Mumbai’s X-factor again when the IPL resumes in the UAE.
#1 Virat Kohli
Kohli is the ultimate tragic hero of IPL as his 14 seasons with RCB has seen so many heartbreaking moments. He is also among the star players who have represented only one IPL team. 2016 is, without doubt, his greatest IPL season, both as an individual and a captain. He scored 973 runs and carried RCB to the IPL final, where they agonizingly lost to SRH in front of home fans.
Virat Kohli has repeatedly said he will never leave RCB in search of the elusive IPL title. If he retires at RCB with an IPL trophy his name it will be one of the greatest cricketing stories. However, even if he never wins the IPL, there is no doubt that no player has served a single club more than Kohli.