Josh Little: First Ireland cricketer to bag IPL contract

The auction of the sixteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023) witnessed cash-rich hires incorporating top-notch names from all over the world. Among a wide array of players, Joshua Little has become the first Ireland player to bag an IPL contract.

Since the league's inception in 2008, no cricketer from Ireland has come across an IPL contract, which makes Little the first player to sign an IPL deal. In the IPL 2023 auction, he was set at a base price of INR 50 lacs; however, he got a finalized deal with Gujarat Titans at a price of 4.4 crore.

Recently, during the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, he became the second Irish bowler after Curtis Campher to strike a hat-trick for Ireland. The left-arm fast-medium bowler grasped the crucial wickets of Kane Williamson, Jimmy Neesham, and Mitchell Santner. His spell became the second hat trick of the World Cup 2021. But despite his efforts, his team lost the match easily.

Josh's tremendous performances lately have been letting the lookouts drool over him, and the IPL officials have turned inclined to let him play in their teams. During the auction, the bidding for him took place between Gujarat, and another newly-introduced franchise, Lucknow Super Giants. The Titans, bidding a bit fairly, won the deal.

Joshua Little did not enjoy his time with Chennai Super Kings during IPL 2022

Notably, he featured as a net bowler for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last year but did not find the experience worth it. Recently, he has also recently commented on his tenure with the Yellow Army, according to which the treatment he received did not match the respect which should be given to an international cricketer.

As reported by Cricbuzz, Joshua Little added,

"I was told it was something it wasn't. I was told before I went that I'm a net bowler, and if someone gets injured, then there's a chance I play. But I couldn't bowl when I wanted; I'd get two overs (in training) and think, 'Two overs, I'm halfway across the world here,"
"Maybe I was naive because I played in the Lankan Premier League and T10; I had a good year behind me. I'm an international cricketer; it didn't seem right."

The 23-year-old has featured in 53 T20I so far and has managed 62 wickets at an average of 23.75 and an economy rate of 23.75. As far as his T20 career, mainly concerning franchise-based cricket, is glanced, he has marked 83 appearances with 105 wickets. The bowler last played for the Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 League and played a pivotal role in lifting the trophy with an economical spell in the final.