5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction

High base price, current form, overseas factor – a few reasons a cricketer stays unsold in an IPL auction.

5 min read
Dale Steyn (left), Yusuf Pathan (centre) and Shaun Marsh might be one of the few established names who might suffer due to their high base price.

It is that time of the year again. The eight teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will fight it out off the field to come up with the best playing XI in the upcoming season of the competition next year.

The IPL 2020 auction, which will be taking place in Kolkata on Thursday, will once again see many Indian as well as international stalwarts going under the hammer. However, like every year, this time too there will shockers as far as many established names going unsold at the auction.

High base price, current form, performance in the previous season, the overseas factor are among the reasons a cricketer stays unsold, even established ones.

With 104 spots yet to be filled across 8 teams, many big names might not find any takers, especially with the reduced purse available due to retention.

Here’s a look at the five big names from international cricket who might return empty-handed from IPL 2020 auction due to high base price:

Dale Steyn (Base Price: Rs 2 Crore)

5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction
(Photo: BCCI)

It would be absolutely wrong to say that Dale Steyn is now a spent force, especially if his recent outings in the ongoing Mzansi Super League is taken into account. In 8 matches, the former South African speedster picked up 15 wickets to prove that he still has enough gas left in the tank. But it would be interesting to see whether it would be enough to impress the eight IPL franchisees at the auction table.

Steyn has had his fair share of good outings in the past seasons of the IPL but since 2015 it has been downhill for him. After a poor season in 2015, the South African could only manage once game for the now defunct Gujarat Lions and warmed the benches for the rest of the season. While he opted out of the 2017 edition, he had no takers the next year. Last year, he was back with Bangalore outfit last season as an injury replacement but could manage to play in only 2 matches before he injured his shoulder, an injury which pushed him out of the 2019 World Cup also.

The last time he played for South Africa in a limited-over international was in March 2019. The base price of Rs 2 crore might end of being a big deterrent for his prospective buyers, especially keeping in mind his age, and his fragile body in a rigorous IPL calender.

Despite the glorious past, 2 crore might be a little too much for a 36-year-old pacer with fitness issues.

Shaun Marsh (Base Price: Rs 1.5 Crore)

5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction
(Photo: BCCI)

One-season wonder Shaun Marsh lit up the first season of the IPL in 2008 with his big hitting and magnificent stroke play. Playing for Kings XI Punjab Shaun went on to score 616 runs from 11 matches at an astounding average of around 70. His only century in the competition also came in the maiden season. In fact, he was the recipient of the first-ever 'Orange Cap'. But since then Shaun has never been able to recreate the magic of his first season.

Not only has he been absent from the tournament in the last two years, he also hasn't played a T20 international for Australia since January 2016. The fact that he is also not in the reckoning to make it to the Australian squad for the T20 World Cup next year make his base price of Rs 1.5 crore look a little bit far-fetched.

With most of the franchises looking sorted with their middle-orders, Shaun Marsh hardly brings anything new on the table to make a case for himself.

Angelo Mathews (Base Price: Rs 2 Crore)

5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction
(Photo: BCCI)

Considering his recent and past records, Sri Lanka's Angelo Matthews seems to be overpriced at Rs 2 crore base price. In the past also, the former Sri Lankan captain has been overlooked in the auction due to his high base price. But Matthews continues to raise the eyebrows with his ambitious pricing.

Since his debut in the competition in 2009, Matthews has been inconsistent with his IPL appearances. Like Steyn and Marsh, he too has been missing in action from the IPL for the last two years. For Sri Lanka also, Mathews last played a T20 international in 2018.

And his T20 records, both internationally as well as in the IPL, also doesn't justify his high price. In his 49 IPL appearances, he has scored only 794 runs and took 27 wickets. His only half century in the competition came more than nine years ago in 2010. In the recently concluded Abu Dhabi T10 League, playing for Delhi Bulls, he also failed to make a mark.

All-rounders have always been in demand in the IPL but high price, underperformance and the fact that he is an overseas player might once again make sure that the Sri Lankan all-rounder goes unsold.

Yusuf Pathan (Base Price: Rs 1.5 Crore)

5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction
(Photo: BCCI)

One of the ferocious hitters of the cricket ball, Yusuf Pathan was the only Indian batter who gave the West Indies batsmen a competition as far as big sixes were concerned in the IPL. Yusuf Pathan was one of the architects of Rajasthan Royals surprise triumph in the first season of the IPL. During his three-season stay at the Rajasthan franchisee, Pathan had scored a 37-ball century which gave him a reputation in the competition.

Courtesy his exploits with the Rajasthan Royals, he was bought for $2.1 million by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011 and was retained by the same team for Rs 3.25 crores via the 'Right to Match' option in the 2014 auction. But the explosive batsman failed to live upto his reputation at the Kolkata Knight Riders, barring few instances, which includes a 15-ball half century.

By the time he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018, the all-rounder had lost his sheen and was hardly his old self with the bat. In the last three seasons, he scored 443 runs in 28 innings.

With his dwindling form every year and the option of younger and cheaper cricketers with similar strength, Pathan might find it difficult find takers with a base price as high as Rs 1.5 crore.

Martin Guptill (Base Price: Rs 1 crore)

5 Big Names Who Might Go Unsold at the 2020 IPL Auction
(Photo: AP)

The Kiwi opener has failed to live up to his credentials in the IPL till now. With only 270 runs from 12 innings, the swashbuckling opener might find very few takers at the auction.

One of the reasons he failed at the Sunrisers was his inability to bat down the order. With most of the sides sorted with their opening pair, it won't be surprising if teams ignore Guptill.

His high price may not be a big factor but him being an overseas players and with the opening slots already taken Guptill might end without a team in this season of the competition.

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