Ben Laughlin and other top 'value' buys at the IPL auction

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Australia's Ben Laughlin represents great value for money for the Royals.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions came to an end on Sunday evening after two days of non-stop excitement which saw some of cricket’s newest millionaires emerge.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes grabbed eyeballs with the highest bid once again at £1.4million (Dh7.2m) as he was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals. For India’s domestic players, it was bowler Jaydev Unadkat who grabbed eyeballs after fetching a handsome sum of £1.28million (Dh6.7m) from the Royals.

Amidst this extravagance, there were some ‘value’ purchases which caught the eye. We look at five such purchases which represent the best value for money for the various franchises.

SHAKIB AL HASAN – £223,000 (Dh1.2m)

Base Price – £111,500

Team – Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Bangladesh man has consistently ranked among the best all-rounders in the game for some time now. The 30-year-old has plenty of experience to boot in the format having played 61 T20Is for his country. With a batting strike-rate above 120 and a bowling economy rate below 7, Shakib’s credentials in T20 cricket are unquestionable.

Hence, it was surprising that not many teams bid for the Bangladesh man despite a decent base price. Their loss, is however Sunrisers Hyderabad’s gain, and they will be hoping to extract the maximum from Shakib’s innumerous talents come April.

Shakib's numbers in the T20 format have always been excellent.

IMRAN TAHIR – £111,500 (Dh0.5m)

Base Price – £111, 5000

Team – Chennai Super Kings

Another surprising bargain at the IPL auction came in the form of South Africa’s Imran Tahir. The 38-year-old leg spinner was at one time the top-ranked T20I bowler in the world and currently lies in the fifth spot in the ICC rankings.

Having played 36 T20 internationals for South Africa, Tahir has picked up 57 wickets at an average of 15.85 and an economy rate of just 6.80. What the Pakistan-origin man brings to the table is an uncanny knack of picking up wickets. While many bowlers look to defend when it comes to the format, Tahir has always attacked the batsmen in search of wickets.

Chennai Super Kings have done extremely well here in picking up the veteran at his base price. His exuberant celebrations are always an added bonus.

Tahir's wicket-taking abilities are second to none.

MITCHELL SANTNER – £55,500 (Dh0.25m)

Base Price – £55,500

Team – Chennai Super Kings

The third spinner on the list, Mitchell Santner currently tops the ICC rankings for bowlers in the T20I format. The 25-year-old New Zealand all-rounder has always been a wily customer with his clever variations in flight and speed, much in the mould of former Kiwi legend Daniel Vettori.

In 23 T20Is for his country, Santner has picked up 26 wickets at an economy rate of just 6.78. He has decent credentials with the bat in hand and can chip in with some handy runs lower down the order.

To snap up the Blackcaps man at his unusually low base price is quite a coup for the Chennai based side and Santner will be itching to make his mark in his first-ever IPL.

Santner is the No1 ranked T20 bowler in the world currently.

BEN LAUGHLIN – £55,500 (Dh0.25m)

Base Price – £55,500

Team – Rajasthan Royals

Not many will have heard about Ben Laughlin before the IPL auction. The 35-year-old Australian made his T20I debut for his country all the way back in 2009. He has not represented Australia since 2013 but has since then established himself as one of the best bowlers in the Big Bash League (BBL).

The Adelaide Strikers man has 109 T20 matches under his belt and has picked up 140 wickets. Like Tahir, Laughlin is primarily a wicket-taking bowler and has picked up 15 scalps in 10 matches so far in the ongoing edition of the BBL.

At just £55,500, the Aussie pacer represents great value for the money and could spring a few surprises in the upcoming IPL.

ANUKUL ROY – £22,270

Base Price – £22,270

Team – Mumbai Indians

Anukul Roy will be a familiar name to anyone following India’s progress in the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. The 19-year-old left-arm spinner with a bowling action very much reminiscent of Ravindra Jadeja, has been making quite a name for himself with some eye-catching performances.

He returned with figures of 5-14 against Papua New Guinea and then followed it up with another match-winning 4-20 against Zimbabwe. He was the highest wicket-taker in the Youth ODIs in England last year with 10 wickets in four matches. Anukul is no mug with the bat in hand either and is a handly lower order batsman.

Hence, it was a surprise when Mumbai Indians picked him up at his nominal base price without facing any challengers for his signature.

The 19-year-old has a great future ahead of him.

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