An action-packed day in Bengaluru saw 67 players being auctioned ahead of season 8 of the Indian Premier League on Monday, with franchises combining to spend Rs 87.6 crore that included 23 overseas players. Here are a few of the highlights from the auction that lasted nearly eight hours.
After being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after attracting the highest bid in 2014, Yuvraj Singh was expected to attract a lower amount but RCB threw everything they could to retain him, but Delhi Daredevils eventually broke the bank to snap up the 2011 World Cup winner for Rs 16 crore, more than the price he fetched last year, setting a new IPL auction record. The modest Yuvraj said he was glad to have been purchased by DD, where he reunites with former India coach Gary Kirsten.
Dinesh Karthik, who along with Yuvraj Singh and Kevin Pietersen was one of the costliest players in the 2014 auctions but was released by Delhi Daredevils, attracted a Rs 10.5 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore, becoming the second-most expensive buy of the day. RCB were looking to add a wicketkeeper to their ranks after letting go of Parthiv Patel during the transfer window in 2014.
Delhi Daredevils, who had let go of as many as 13 players after finishing at the bottom of the points table last season, bought Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews for Rs 7.5 crore. Mathews would be expected to lead the side after the franchise let go of Kevin Pietersen and Karthik, and form a strong middle order along with Yuvraj.
Another high-profile buy from the Delhi franchise came in the form of Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, who had initially gone unsold. The second round of auctions in the post-lunch session saw Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians engage in a tussle but MI eventually had to give up the pursuit for their former spearhead as DD closed the deal for Rs 4 crore.
New Zealand speedster Trent Boult was the next big purchase on Monday, as from a base price of Rs 50 lakh he went to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 3.8 crore. Boult joined an already-impressive line-up including Dale Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma.
Delhi Daredevils’ spending spree continued as they also snapped up former Sunrisers Hyderabad legspinner Amit Mishra for Rs 3.5 crore. Mishra, who is the most successful Indian bowler in the IPL, played for DD in the early stages of the tournament.
Two more players attracted Rs 3 crore-plus price tags, with Aaron Finch, who was released by the Sunrisers, going to Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.2 crore. India opener Murali Vijay, who was also part of the Delhi Daredevils player-shedding programme, was the first player to be auctioned on the morning, going to Kings XI Punjab for Rs 3 crore.
While well-known international and local players went unsold, some unheralded names made waves after bidding wars ensued between franchises. Shreyas Iyer, the 20-year-old batsman who made his first-class debut for Mumbai this season and was priced at Rs 10 lakh, was eventually picked up by Delhi Daredevils for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore. Once again, it was Mumbai Indians who were engaged in a bidding battle with DD as his price soared to dizzying levels.
Shreyas Iyer made waves after having a breakthrough domestic season, but little-known KC Cariappa’s purchase defied logic. Without any top-flight experience, Cariappa, whose base price was Rs 10 lakh, fetched Rs 2.4 crore as he went to Kolkata Knight Riders, who fought off stiff competition from Delhi Daredevils. Talking to Cricbuzz, Cariappa said his success in the local Karnataka Premier League brought him to the attention of KKR, who had invited him for trials last year, where he impressed the management. Speaking after the auctions, Ricky Ponting likened him to an ‘Indian’ Sunil Narine.
Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Naushad Khan, all of 17, became the youngest player to be bought at the 2015 edition of the IPL auction when Royal Challengers Bangalore snapped him up for Rs 50 lakh.
Along with Zaheer’s capture, Delhi Daredevils bolstered their bowling ranks by picking up India-born Australian Gurinder Sandhu for Rs 1.7 crore. Sandhu, who made his limited-overs debut for Australia in the recent tri-series, has had a lot of success in the Big Bash League, and his Indian heritage promises to attract new fans.
South Africa pacer David Wiese, who picked up a five-wicket haul against West Indies in a T20 match recently, went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 2.8 crore, up from his base price of Rs 30 lakh.
While some players found many takers, there were some big names who didn’t attract any bids from franchises. South Africa’s Test captain Hashim Amla, who was the first name on the auction table, found no takers and went unsold in the next phase as well, as did Sri Lankan stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Sangakkara, who was brought back twice for auctions, went unsold each time. New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, too, didn’t attract a single bid.
Unsuspecting names being picked up for hefty price tags while promising local and international players being snapped up for bargain-basement prices became a trend at the auctions on Monday. Kevin Pietersen, who attracted an eye-catching Rs 12.5-crore bid last year, sold for his base price of Rs 2 crore when Sunrisers Hyderabad bid successfully for him. Pietersen will partner Eoin Morgan at Sunrisers, who picked up the current England captain for just Rs 30 lakh.
Sean Abbott had been in the news for all the wrong reasons last season, but his rise in cricket circles continued when Royal Challengers Bangalore picked him up for Rs 1 crore, a bargain for the talent he possesses. He will join up with fellow Australian Mitchell Starc to front the RCB pace attack.
Pragyan Ojha was recaptured by Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 50 lakh, while the franchise added New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan for Rs 30 lakh to add to their pace bowling firepower. Another pacer who found a Rs 30 lakh bid was South African Kyle Abbott, who was picked up by Chennai Super Kings who needed to shore up their death bowling, while out of favour South African allrounder Albie Morkel was picked up by Delhi Daredevils at the same price.
Some players made heads turn while others became the talk of the town. Others like Irfan Pathan, Michael Hussey, Darren Sammy and Praveen Kumar all went for decent sums of money but no one attracted more attention than that. Hussey returned to CSK where he had so much success for Rs 1.5 crore, while allrounder Irfan Pathan also went to the same franchise for the same price. Darren Sammy joined up with Chris Gayle as RCB signed up the former West Indies captain for Rs 2.8 crore, and former India pacer Praveen Kumar joined Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn and Trent Boult to form a formidable pace attack at Sunrisers Hyderabad.