Phil Salt was a revelation for Delhi Capitals last season, having racked up 218 runs at a strike rate of 163.91. But that was not enough for him to be retained by the franchise. However, being a swash-buckling top-order batter and a wicket-keeper, he was expected to attract big money in the auction and the belief was compounded by the fact that he hit his first T20 century a day before the grand event in Dubai.
To put things in perspective, in 2023 alone, Salt has amassed 1281 runs at a strike rate of 160.9 with two centuries and six half-centuries. However, such was the dynamics of IPL that he went unsold at his base price of 1.5 Cr. It didn’t affect his performance in the subsequent morning though as the Sussex opener went on to score his second consecutive T20 century to help England square the series against West Indies, but that surely has left him confused.
"It was a confusing morning. I expected to be picked up, having gone there last year and done well and after the year that I've had, but these things happen," Salt said.
"It's part of the lottery of an auction. It happens in draft processes as well. There are a few lads in our dressing room who are going to have a very good Christmas and I'm over the moon for them. I was a bit confused, but it can happen. There are no bad cricketers on the list at the IPL. It's one of those things," he added.
If the snub was hard to digest, Salt was lucky to have had a bunch of things going for him. His twin knocks in the Caribbean have almost rendered him a permanent spot in the England squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, which is set to happen in the West Indies and the USA.
"It was probably a little bit of it, subconsciously. I'm very aware of how lucky I am to be here playing cricket. I'm playing good cricket, I'm doing what I came out here to do. More importantly than that, the boys have really pulled together and shown what a good team we are. The West Indies are a very good side that we're playing against so to win back-to-back games and force the decider in a couple of days' time, I'm chuffed," he said.