On left, Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand and on the right is Kumar Kushagra who is headed for Delhi Capitals. Image: AFP and Getty Images
The Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Tuesday saw a lot of action. Being held first time outside of India, in Dubai, this time, the one-day event witnessed some of the most expensive buys in the history of the tournament. Australian star pacer Mitchell Starc bagged a whopping Rs 24.75 crore deal from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), becoming the costliest player in the 16-year history of the tournament.
A total of 72 players were bought at the auction by the 10 franchises after spending Rs 230.45 crore. Both uncapped Indian talents and accomplished overseas players made their way to the tournament. Apart from expected bids, there were several surprising picks: Some players expected to bag big money went for lower amounts while some unknown names laughed their way to the bank.
1. Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka): Sold to SRH for Rs 1.50 crore
Wanindu Hasaranga. Image: Albert Perez-ICC/ICC via Getty Images Hasaranga, the Sri Lankan leg-spinner, was expected to be one of the costliest players. But it went the other way around as he was purchased for his base price of Rs 1.50 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). It was the most surprising pick since Hasranga brings a lot of skillsets and experience to the table. He is one of the leading T20 spinners in the world who is capable of striking big with the bat too. He was bought for Rs 10.75 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous auction after three teams were involved in the bidding war. The 26-year-old’s inclusion in SRH remained the best steal of this year’s auction.
2. Daryl Mitchell (New Zealand): Sold to CSK for Rs 14 crore
Daryl Mitchell. Image: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP The New Zealand batter was expected to be a hot choice at the auction table but no one thought he would end up getting a massive bid of Rs 14 crore. Mitchell was a standout performer for New Zealand in the recently concluded ICC Men’s ODI World Cup and it must have helped his cause at the auction. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were not at all letting any other team get away with Mitchell as they continued to bid for him until no other team was interested. The right-handed batter, who is capable of hitting those massive sixes, remained the third most expensive pick of the auction after Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
3. Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand): Sold to CSK for Rs 1.80 crore
Rachin Ravindra. Image: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP After an unforgettable World Cup 2023, everyone thought New Zealand youngster Rachin Ravindra would bag millions. His abilities with both the bat and the ball make him a unique asset and often such players remain in huge demand. However, in a major surprise, Chennai Super Kings acquired him at a pretty low amount of Rs 1.80 crore. Although two other teams, Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings, were also involved in the bidding, they didn’t continue after the bid neared Rs 2 crore, hence letting CSK get him without much fight. The youngster, though, might still be happy since he would get to play under MS Dhoni, one of the most successful captains in world cricket.
4. Sameer Rizvi (India): Sold to CSK for Rs 8.40 crore
Sameer Rizvi. Image: PTI The young batter from Uttar Pradesh had entered the auction at a base price of Rs 20 lakh. Little did he know that teams would break banks for him. Rizvi, who is just 20, attracted bids from three franchises—CSK, Gujarat Titans and Delhi Capitals—with CSK finally winning the bid. If we look at Rizvi’s domestic numbers (295 runs in 11 T20s), he seems like an average player, however, the available footage of him tells a different story. The right-handed batter has a range of strokes—something that not many possess. CSK looked at him as an ideal replacement for Ambati Rayudu, the Indian batter who recently announced his retirement.
5. Kumar Kushagra (India): Sold to DC at Rs 7.20 crore
Kumar Kushagra. Image: Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images “Ganguly told Kushagra that he would play for the Delhi Capitals (DC) and the franchise would bid for him till Rs 10 crore,” Shashikant, Kumar’s father, told Indian Express after the youngster shook the auction. Although he was a completely unknown name till yesterday, Sourav Ganguly– the veteran Indian skipper– showing so much faith in him suggests the future Kushagra holds. The 19-year-old from Jharkhand is believed to be a formidable batter who is quite good behind the stumps. However, his domestic T20 numbers are not that impressive, and DC seems to have trusted his abilities after paying him a whopping sum.
Honourable Mentions: Harshal Patel going to Punjab Kings for Rs 11.75 crore, Travis Head to Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rs 6.80 crore, Shardul Thakur to Chennai Super Kings at Rs 4 crore, Alzarri Joseph to Royal Challengers Bangalore at Rs 11.50 crore and Spencer Johnson to Gujarat Titans at Rs 10 crore.