Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat was the costliest Indian buy fetching a mind boggling Rs 11.5 crore deal from the usually thrifty Rajasthan Royals while Australia pacer Andrew Tye pocketed a Rs 7.2 crore contract from Kings XI Punjab on the final day of the IPL auction.
While Unadkat and Tye enjoyed big pay day, 17-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane made history by becoming the first cricketer from Nepal to be bought in the auction with Delhi Daredevils picking him up for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
After leggie Rashid Khan took home Rs 9 crore on the opening day, another Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Zadran, all of 16 years, was richer by Rs 4 crore when KXIP made the winning bid for the teen sensation. Nepal’s Lamichanne had first hogged the limelight by becoming the second-highest wicket-taker during the 2016 U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh with 14 scalps in six innings at an average of 17 and his effort included a hat-trick.
That led to former Australia captain Michael Clarke inviting the leg-spinner to play for his team Western Suburbs in the NSW Premier Cricket season in Australia. Much to the relief of Chris Gayle fans, the West Indian opener finally found a buyer towards the end of the day when KXIP bought him for his Rs 2 crore base price. Gayle was brought into the auction pool for the third time after going unsold twice.
Afghan teenager Zadran has already played the highest level and is currently part of the U-19 World Cup squad in New Zealand. His teammate in New Zealand, Zahir Khan, went to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 60 lakh.
KXIP and RR went into the auction with the biggest purse having retained only one player. RR continued spending big on day two and KXIP too was not far behind. However, by the end of the day, KKR left both of them behind by using their entire purse of Rs 80 crore despite buying the fewest players, 19. Barring CSK, who still have Rs 6.5 crore to work with, all teams have almost utilised their purse.
The Royals, known for their wise spending, began day two with a bang splurging some more to Karnataka off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham for Rs 6.2 crore.
The expensive shopping spree was not to end there as they got Unadkat after his price skyrocketed to Rs 11.5 crore from a base price of Rs 1.5 crore following a bidding war between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. Rajasthan Royals, however, had the last laugh. Unadkat was sought after because of his specialist T20 skills and the fact that he took 24 wickets at 13.41 for Rising Pune Supergiant last season. He was also the man of the series in India’s previous T20 series against Sri Lanka.
Royals had also made the auction’s most expensive buy yesterday, picking up England all-rounder Ben Stokes for Rs 12.5 crore. Their another costly purchase was offie Gowtham, who was sold for 31 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Teams continued with their strategy of going after the Indian players. Spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar was sold to RCB for Rs 3.2 crore, Punjab pacer Sandeep Sharma went to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 3 crore, Kings XI Punjab used Right to Match (RTM) to retain Mohit Sharma for Rs 2.4 crore.
Jharkhand spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was bought back by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 3.2 crore and Mohammad Siraj was picked up by RCB for Rs 2.6 crore. Like yesterday, KKR targetted the budding talent, picking up another India U-19 performer Shivam Mavi for Rs 3 crore after buying Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shubman Gill on day one.
At a base of price of Rs 50 lakh, CSK got a bargain in South African pacer Lungi Ngidi.
For a moment, it seemed that no Sri Lankan would catch the team’s attention until Akila Dananjaya was taken for his base price of Rs 50 lakh. Dushmantha Chameera became the second Sri Lankan after Royals paid Rs 50 lakh for the medium pacer.
Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson was brought back into the pool for the second time and was picked up by KKR for Rs 2 crore.
However, there were no takers for big international names such as South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, England’s Eoin Morgan, New Zealand’s Corey Anderson and Martin Guptill, and Australian Shaun Marsh.