Punjab Kings went in with the biggest pool of Rs 28. 65 crore while Lucknow Super Giants, who had a busy Saturday, were left with the least amount of money – Rs 6.90 crore. While most franchises chose to wait and watch, Punjab splurged on two players. At Rs 11.5 crore, Englishman Liam Livingstone became the most expensive overseas buy while the current flavour from West Indies, Odean Smith, was bought for Rs 6 crore.
IPL AUCTION: AS IT HAPPENED
Given the limited resources, bidding wasn’t frenzied but teams moved with purpose to acquire players they had targeted. Eventually, 204 players, including 67 overseas cricketers, were brought, with the total spending in the auction touching Rs 551.7 crore.
Livingstone’s stint with Rajasthan Royals yielded just 42 runs from five innings last year but he ensured a bidding war with Kolkata Knight Riders making the opening bid and Chennai Super Kings jumping into the fray. Punjab and Gujarat Titans too threw their hats in the ring. Punjab almost had him at Rs 10. 25 crore but Sunrisers Hyderabad upped the price tag, till Punjab had the final say but at an additional cost of Rs 1.25 crore.
Although England pacer Jofra Archer has been out of action for 10 months and an elbow surgery is likely to keep him out of the 2022 edition of the IPL, Rajasthan, Mumbai and Hyderabad showed a lot of enthusiasm. Despite knowing that there wouldn’t be any replacement for the 26-year-old, Mumbai welcomed him on board for Rs 8 crore.
A part of the franchises’ strategy was to set aside a portion of their purse for accelerated bidding, hoping to bag a few players for less. While that did happen, teams did not hesitate to loosen their purse strings for their choices. The biggest gainers in this category were the overseas players.
Singapore all-rounder Tim David, who plies his wares at T20 leagues like the Big Bash and PSL, garnered considerable attention before Mumbai forked out Rs 8.25 crore. West Indies bowling all-rounder Romario Shepherd went to Hyderabad for Rs 7.75 crore.
BAWA LEADS U-19 STARS
All-rounder Raj Angad Bawa led the list of players from India’s U-19 World Cup winning team. The 19-year-old ensured a three-way bid between Hyderabad, Mumbai and Punjab before Anil Kumble & Co. bagged him for Rs 2 crore (base price Rs 20 lakh).
Medium-pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar, also a handy middle-order batsman, was lapped up by CSK for Rs 1.5 crore. Skipper Yash Dhull stayed at home, with Delhi Capitals paying Rs 50 lakh for him. He was joined by left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal. South Africa’s Dewald Brevis, the Player of the Tournament at the Under-19 World Cup, went for Rs 3 crore to Mumbai.