Bengaluru: The highly-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 Player Auction lived up to its hype as a lot of drama unfolded during the two days of intense bidding by teams.
A total of 169 players, including 56 overseas stars went under the hammer over two days of action in Bengaluru, while a staggering amount of Rs 4,31,70,00,000 was spent by franchises.
The final day of the auction was much more interesting as a lot of surprise names fetched heavy paychecks. Left-arm speedster Jaydev Unadkat made the headlines after prompting an intense bidding war during the morning session. Facing competition from the likes of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Rajasthan Royals (RR) coughed up a whopping Rs 11.5 crore for the Porbandar pacer.
Andrew Tye, who guided Australia to victory against England with a five-for, also attracted interested, eventually being sold to Kings KI Punjab for Rs 7.2 crores.
The Preity Zinta co-owned side also roped in Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Zadran for a lucrative Rs. 4 crore, while another Afghan spinner, Zahir Khan went to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 60 lakhs. In all, a total of four players from the war-stricken country including the likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi (both SRH) were brought.
West Indies’ T20 star Chris Gayle had no bids over two rounds but was picked up by Kings XI Punjab towards the end for a modest Rs 2 crore.
U-19 cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane, who was brought by Delhi Daredevils, also scripted history as he became first Nepal player to be a part of the cash-rich league.
Uncapped Karnataka bowler Krishnappa Gowtham was at the fierce tug of war between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and RR, but it was the latter who had the last laugh, snapping him for Rs 6.2 crore.
A couple of U-19 stars from India were also picked up by teams. Shivam Mavi went for Rs 3 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shubman Gill were also fetched by the two-time IPL winners for Rs 3.2 and 1.8 crore respectively.
Team India youngster Washington Sundar joined Virat Kohli’s RCB for Rs 3.20 crore.
Two surprising exclusions were those of RCB all-rounder Tymal Mills, who was fetched for a mind-boggling Rs 12 crore last season, while Mumbai Indians pacer Lasith Malinga also went unpicked.
Earlier on day one, a total of 72 players were sold, with a total of Rs 321.1 crore being spent.
Englishman Ben Stokes once again became the most expensive buy after RR lured him for Rs 12.5 crores.
Compatriot and England captain Joe Root went into his maiden IPL auction with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore but did not attract a bid alongside fellow Englishmen Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings. Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson and Ashes star Josh Hazlewood too were ignored by the teams. They both went into the auction with a Rs 2 crore base price.
Johnson, who played for Mumbai Indians last season, did not find a taker but other retired players like compatriot Shane Watson and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum bagged hefty deals.
Watson went to CSK for Rs 4 crores, three crores more than his base price, and McCullum was sold to RCB for Rs 3.6 crores. South Africa batsman Hashim Amla was another big international name to go unsold. The other names to miss out on the opening day were India's Ishant Sharma, Parthiv Patel and Murali Vijay; Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa; New Zealand's Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Martin Guptill; and West Indian Samuel Badree.
Indian veterans Yuvraj Singh, who fetched a record Rs 16 crore deal in the past, and Harbhajan Singh, did not generate a lot of interest from teams this time and went to KXIP and CSK respectively at their Rs 2 crore base price.
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