The eighth edition of the T20 League isn’t too far away and the excitement has already picked up. February 16 was an action-packed day that saw an intense bidding battle between the franchises for their favorite players.
We give you a round-up of some of the most expensive and surprising purchases at this year’s auction!
All-rounder Yuvraj Singh once again grabbed the headlines for the 2nd consecutive year at the T20 League auction. This time, it was the Delhi Daredevils who bought the star batsman for a whopping price of 16 crore. In 2014, the Royal Challengers Bangalore stunned everyone by signing a 14-crore deal with Yuvi. Unfortunately, it was a no-show for Yuvraj in season 7. DD also purchased Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews for 7.5 crore, another costly buy at the auction. Zaheer Khan, who went unsold in the 1st round, was bought by the Daredevils for 4 crore. Australian Gurinder Sandhu will be making his debut this year, with DD signing the bowler for 1.7 crore. Among the uncapped players, Delhi signed Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer for 2.6 crore after his impressive Ranji performances.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were probably the smartest in terms of picking their players. With a large purse at their disposal, they added some big names to their squad. While Kevin Pietersen was bought at a base price of 2 crore, Kane Williamson was a real steal at just 60 lakhs. Kiwi fast bowler Trent Boult was another quality addition, along with the explosive Eoin Morgan. Sunrisers also bought Praveen Kumar to strengthen their bowling attack. With the likes of Warner, Dhawan, KP, Williamson, Morgan and Bopara, the Sunrisers already look like the team to beat this season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
After losing Yuvraj to the Daredevils, RCB signed wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik for the huge amount of 10.5 crore, followed by West Indian Darren Sammy for 2.8 crore. The Challengers added two promising fast bowlers to their squad, New Zealand’s Adam Milne (70 lakh) and Australian Sean Abbott (1 crore). 17-year old uncapped Sarfaraz Khan from Mumbai will make his debut with RCB this year. South African all-rounder David Wiese was a surprise bid, with the Challengers spending 2.8 crore on a lesser-known player. The team already boasts of a star line-up and with latest additions, this could hopefully be a good year for RCBians.
Aaron Finch became the most expensive Australian player this year, after Mumbai Indians bought him for 3.2 crore. The 2015 auction also saw former MI players returning to base camp – Pragyan Ojha (50 lakh) and Aiden Blizzard (30 lakh). Whether it is the fascination for unusual names or something else, Mumbai will always have a surprise inclusion each year. This time, Kiwi left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan will feature in MI colors with a 30 lakh deal with the franchise. Mumbai have also bought a handful of uncapped players from the domestic circuit.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KC Cariappa – a mysterious name that raised a lot of eyebrows at this year’s auction. The 20-year old spinner who is yet to debut in First Class cricket was bought by KKR for 2.4 crore. Among the international players, Kolkata bought the talented Jimmy Neesham and the experienced Brad Hogg.
Murali Vijay was the only big player who was bought by Kings XI Punjab for a mind-boggling 3 crore. Rajasthan Royals quietly bagged Chris Morris for 1.4 crore, along with Rusty Theron. Michael Hussey returned to the Chennai Super Kings after the franchise signed him for 1.50 crore, followed by Irfan Pathan (1.5 crore), Kyle Abbott and Rahul Sharma.
A two-week trading window will begin on Monday, February 23, wherein franchises will be allowed to trade existing players for newer ones. Let the dice roll!