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Levi makes IPL franchises take notice of him

Last updated on: February 20, 2012 09:51 IST

Levi makes IPL franchises take notice of him

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South African opener Richard Levi who scored the fastest century in the history of T20 International during his knock 117 off 51 balls against New Zealand has made the IPL franchises owners sit up and take notice after being ignored at auctions in Bangalore, earlier this month.

- Richard Levi smashes the fastest T20 century

The 24-year-old right-hander, who hit 13 sixes at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday, had a base price of $50,000 and was ignored during the mini-auctions held in Bangalore, on February 4.

By the end of it, he became the first South African to hit a Twenty20 century. Levi reached his hundred off just 45 balls, shattering the record of 50 balls set previously by Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, and he stole another record from the legendary West Indian with his 13 sixes bettering the left-hander's previous mark of 10.


Image: Richard Levi
Photographs: Getty Images

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'We didn't have any clue about this player'

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"The purse was limited to $2 million and frankly speaking we didn't have any clue about this player. With budget limited, we were only eyeing marquee players and didn't have any idea about this guy," a senior official of one of the franchises, said.

But the T20 fans might still get a chance to watch Levi's pyrotechnics as the Cape Cobras opener can still be fast-tracked into the cash-rich T20 extravaganza if Pune Warriors, who didn't take part in the auctions, rope in the Proteas opener.

As of now, Pune Warriors, who are back in the IPL, can certainly hire Levi at the base price ($50,000) which can prove to be a good bargain since the opener's stocks will only go up after this particular knock.


Photographs: Getty Images

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Poor homework by IPL franchises

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Call it poor homework by IPL franchises, Levi has had an awesome reputation in the shorter formats in South Africa's domestic cricket. He has a strike-rate of over 100 in 51 List A matches. His strike-rate in the shortest format is a whopping 150 in 34 matches.

The powerfully-built Levi was brutal to a wayward New Zealand attack who bowled into his arc allowing him to smash the ball across the ropes from mid-off around to deep backward square-leg.

"It was good fun. Every shot I played seemed to come off," Levi said in a televised interview. "The leg-side boundary on (one) side of the wicket is fairly short so I was trying to target it."


Photographs: Getty Images

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