Gayle, Big Buys, Steals: 6 Highlights From IPL Auction 2018
Eight franchises battled over two days to find the right squad from a pool of 581 cricketers, including 360 Indians, at the Indian Premier League auction in Bengaluru on 27 and 28 January.
Here are the major highlights from the two power-packed days.
1. Third Time Lucky Chris Gayle
He was just the fourth name called out during the IPL auction and the big-hitting Chris Gayle was not picked by any franchise for the upcoming IPL season. He came up again during the second day, and still found no takers.
But what’s an IPL without Chris Gayle!
The West Indies batsman was brought back to the bidding table for a third time, and was bought by Kings XI Punjab for his base price of Rs 2 crore. A cricketer who once formed the most dangerous opening pair alongside Kohli, struggled to become a part of this year’s IPL.
2. Big Buys
Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat and Manish Pandey were some of the cricketers that the IPL franchise didn’t mind splurging for at the auction.
Despite all the off-field controversies, England all- rounder Stokes once again emerged the costliest buy in the IPL auctions. He was bought for a massive Rs 12.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals after Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings also engaged in a fierce bidding war.
Unadkat became the costliest Indian buy at the auction with his price skyrocketing to Rs 11.5 crore from a base price of Rs 1.5 crore after a bidding war between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. Rajasthan Royals, however, had the last laugh.
Middle-order batsman Pandey, who had an average year for India but good season at the previous IPL edition, bagged a deal worth Rs 11 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad.
There were shockers, cricketers that went unsold, and then those players whose buy-in amounts were relatively less than what had been expected.
One of the best wicketkeepers in the world right now, Quinton de Kock was bagged by RCB for just Rs 2.8 crore from his base price of 2 crore. Imran Tahir – unsold in last year’s auction – made a late entry into IPL 2017 and then left quite a mark with 18 wickets in 12 matches. However the South Africa leg-spinner went for his base price of Rs 1 crore to Chennai Super Kings. The MS Dhoni-led franchise also got super lucky to retain South Africa’s Test captain Faf du Plessis for just Rs 1.60 crore.
4. Unsold Players
Many highly sought-after international cricketers, who've previously been bought for huge amounts by franchises, went unsold at the player auction this time. Lasith Malinga, an iconic player in the tournament who represented Mumbai Indians since 2009, had no takers this year. The 34-year-old has been struggling with form since his ankle surgery in 2015, and more so of late.
Considering the two massive centuries that he hit in the last season, Hashim Amla going unsold in this year’s auction came as a surprise. The top-order batsman had come in at a base price of Rs 1.5 crore.
Then there was Shaun Marsh, who Kings XI Punjab showed no interest in. The cricketer, who helped shape their team in the last 10 years, had scored 264 runs in nine matches, including two half-centuries in the last IPL season.
5. Nepal’s IPL Breakthrough
Seventeen-year-old Sandeep Lamicchane became the first cricketer from Nepal to land an IPL contract. He was bagged by Delhi Daredevils for his base price of Rs 20 lakh. The leg-spinner rose to prominence with his performance during the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, where he was the second-highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets in 6 innings at an average of 17 and an economy of 4.67. In fact, it was former Australia captain Michael Clarke who spotted his talent, and honed him during the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
6. India’s U-19 Stars Shine
India’s Under-19 players who are currently playing the World Cup in New Zealand too were rewarded for their recent performances. Captain Prithvi Shaw, who came into the auction at a base price of Rs 20 lakh, was bagged by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 1.2 crore.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti, the fast bowler who has impressed many with his left-arm pace, was also swept up by the Kolkata Knight Riders, and was one of the most profitable uncapped players at this year’s auction at Rs 3.2 crore.
KKR also signed fast-bowler Shivam Mavi for a whopping Rs 3 crore. The young pacer has been in great form for the Indian U-19 team, having already taken five wickets in the three group matches in the ICC U-19 World Cup.
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