Jaydev Unadkat became an IPL millionaire for the second time in the same year in the IPL 2019 auction, held in Jaipur today. The left-arm quick was sold for INR 8.4 crore (approx. USD 1.17m) to Rajasthan Royals, the same team that had bought him for INR 11.5 crore in January and then released him ahead of this auction. The other big buy of the first couple of hours of the auction was uncapped Tamil Nadu mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy (27), who sparked a bidding war between five franchises. Having listed a base price of INR 20 lakh, he was eventually bought for INR 8.4 crore (approx USD 1.17m) by Kings XI Punjab.
Sam Curran, the 20-year old England allrounder who was Man of the Series in the Tests against India earlier this year, emerged as the costliest of the overseas players. He joined Kings XI for INR 7.2 crore (approx. USD 1m) Until his arrival, former South Africa batsman, BBL and CPL winner Colin Ingram had been the highest-priced foreign player, Delhi Capitals shelling out INR 6.4 crore (approx USD 889,000).
The biggest surprise of the day was 17-year old Prabhsimran Singh, who came in at a base price of INR 20 lakh but was sold for INR 4.8 crore (approx 666,000 USD) to Kings XI. He has not played any T20s, but does strike them big in age-group cricket. He was part of the India Under-19 team earlier this year and hammered a match-winning, unbeaten 65 off 37 balls in the final against Sri Lanka. Prayas Ray Barman, a 16-year old legspinner who was Bengal’s top wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, struck a chord with RCB, who took him on for INR 1.5 crore (approx USD 208,000)
Tuesday’s auction was notable for the interest shown in fast bowling talent. Mumbai Indians got Lasith Malinga back on their roster for INR 2 crore (approx USD 278,000). The Sri Lanka fast bowler had been one of their mentors last season but will play a more active role in 2019.
The West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 4.2 crore
Mohammed Shami, who picked up 6 for 56 in the Perth Test against Australia, went to Kings XI for INR 4.8 crore (approx USD 667,000). Mohit Sharma, a death-overs specialist with his assortment of slower balls, attracted bids from various franchises until he was finally sold to defending champions Chennai Super Kings for INR 5 crore (USD 694,000).
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Ishant Sharma returned home to Delhi, the newly renamed franchise picking him up for INR 1.1 crore (approx USD 153,000). Royals acquired Varun Aaron for INR 2.4 crore (approx USD 334,000). Meanwhile, left-arm quick Barinder Sran went to Mumbai for INR 3.4 crores (approx USD 472,000).
Among the players expected to garner a lot of interest was Shimron Hetmyer, who was a bright spot for West Indies on their tour of India earlier this year. He came up for bidding in the very first set of the auction and was bought for INR 4.2 crore (approx USD 583,000) by Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are captained by Virat Kohli, and who must have had a close-up look at the left-handed batsman as he made 259 runs in five ODIs at a strike-rate of 140.
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Carlos Brathwaite will resume his Eden Gardens love affair, going to Kolkata Knight Riders as they beat out Kings XI, the franchise with the biggest purse at this auction, to buy him for INR 5 crores (approx USD 694,000). The West Indies allrounder first made a name for himself in the World T20 final in 2016 when he hit four sixes off four balls to win the title at Eden Gardens.
Oshane Thomas, who is known to hit speeds of 150 kph, will do just that for Royals, who acquired him for INR 1.1 crore (approx USD 153,000)
Hard-hitting wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran will join Kings XI’s squad, for INR 4.2 crores (approx USD 583,000). Allrounder Sherfane Rutherford, with a T20 strike-rate of 142 and a first-class best of 6 for 32, joined the Delhi team for INR 2 crore (approx USD 277,000)
The England conundrum
With the English players set to leave for national duty by April 25, there was no interest in Alex Hales, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan. But Jonny Bairstow did find a home. He will play IPL for the first time, with Sunrisers Hyderabad, who picked him up for INR 2.2 crore (approx USD 306,000), ostensibly to cover for David Warner, who won’t be with the team for the first three weeks.
Big name unsolds
Brendon McCullum, who launched the IPL with a 158 over a decade ago, went unsold. As did Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel and Cheteshwar Pujara.
The local stars
Yuvraj Singh went unsold when his name came up the first time, but at the end of the day, he was called back and was picked up by Mumbai for INR 1 crore (approx USD 139,000)
RCB brought on Akshdeep Nath for INR 3.6 crore (approx USD 500,000). The 25-year old batsman has played for Kings XI and Gujarat Lions in the past.
Hanuma Vihari, who has been travelling with the Indian Test team since the England series earlier this year, became the first man sold at this auction in Jaipur. He will play for Delhi Capitals having been acquired for INR 2 crore (approx USD 278,000). They also bought allrounder Axar Patel at INR 5 crore (approx USD 694,000).
Wriddhiman Saha, who has not played a competitive match since the end of the last IPL, went to Sunrisers for 1.2 crore (approx USD 167,000). The wicketkeeper has been undergoing a lengthy rehab for his shoulder injury but is expected to be fit again later this month.