There was no shortage of excitement as the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction concluded at Jaipur on Tuesday.
A total of 351 players were up for grabs in what was the second IPL auction to be held within one year. With most of franchises already stacked with players, Tuesday’s auction was all about plugging existing holes in the squad.
At the end of the auction, we look at the winners and losers.
It was Christmas come early for three West Indies players with Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran all securing handsome sums for themselves.
Hetmyer was touted to be one of the biggest buys in the auction and it was Royal Challengers Bangalore that ultimately shelled out $563,000 for his services.
There was also a bonanza for Windies skipper Brathwaite, who fetched a sum of nearly US$708,000 from Kolkata Knight Riders. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting Pooran fetched an identical sum to Hetmyer from Kings XI Punjab.
Oshane Thomas and Keemo Paul secured IPL contracts as well, all in all making it a good day for the reigning World T20 champions.
Sam Curran was bound to be a big attraction in the auction but there was no certainty that teams would go big for him given the fact that England players won’t be available for the entirety of the tournament.
In the end, there were no such concerns over the all-rounder with Kings XI Punjab propelling him to the millionaire’s club, submitting a winning bid of exactly $1million.
Not a bad way to earn your maiden IPL contract especially when the 20-year-old’s compatriots, experienced duo Alex Hales and Chris Woakes, went unsold …
Talk of coming out of nowhere! Heading into the auction as an unknown quantity with a base price of just $28,000, Chakravarthy set pundits and social media in a tizzy as he sparked an intense bidding war for his signature.
Ultimately, the 27-year-old old mystery spinner was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab who had to shell out $1.2million for his services. To think Chakravarthy almost gave up cricket to pursue a career in architecture at one stage …
Becoming the joint-most expensive purchase in the auction having played just one first-class and nine List A matches over the course of his career is some story for Chakravarthy.
While Chakravarthy’s bid attracted eyeballs for the right reasons, the other most expensive purchase of Tuesday’s auction was a completely different tale.
Despite his modest record, Rajasthan Royals had surprised one and all by making seamer Jaydev Unadkat the most expensive domestic player bought in the 2018 player auction.
Unadkat failed to live up the hype, going at almost 10 runs an over in his 15 appearances for the Royals. Hence, it was no surprise the 27-year-old found himself back in the option pool after being released from his contract.
Even Unadkat would have failed to anticipate what transpired on Tuesday with the Royals once again pulling out all the stops to secure his services. In the end, the seamer was signed for almost the same sum as last season as he once again became the most expensive Indian signing.
What were the Royals thinking?
Mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy's story. One of those, never too late to dream stories.— Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) December 18, 2018
- Quit game at 17 coz he had enough.
- Did Architecture for 5 years
- Returned to win TNPL
- INR 8.4cr contract#IPLAuction #IPLAuction2019 #IPL2019Auction https://t.co/r8Qgr9c3YD
VETERAN BIG NAMES MISS OUT
While there was surprise delight for the likes of Chakravarty and Unadkat, some of the overseas veterans had an auction to forget with many going unsold.
South Africa pacer Dale Steyn failed to find any takers for his services despite looking back to his best in recent months. There was bad news for Kiwi icon Brendon McCullum with the veteran batsman suffering the same fate as Steyn.
India stalwart Yuvraj Singh too failed to initially find any bidders for his services before being bought below his base price by Mumbai Indians in a subsequent round.
Other big names to go unsold in the auction included Hashim Amla and Cheteshwar Pujara.
The Afghanistan leg-spin prodigy was looking to fetch a big sum in the auction after his breakout performances in 2018. The joint highest wicket-taker in the 2018 U19 World Cup, Ahmad has been hailed as the next big thing from the Afghan spin factory.
However, despite impressing in the recent Afghanistan Premier League, Ahmad failed to fetch a single bid in a surprising turn of events. With Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman having already made their marks in the IPL, 18-year-old Ahmad was expected to follow suit – but it wasn’t to be this time.
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