For the first time in the history of the IPL, uncapped players went under the hammer and the bidding was very intense almost as intense as on Day One, when the big stars were up for sell. With just four foreign players allowed per IPL side, the demand for local players was always going to be high and so it proved.
Karn Sharma and Rishi Dhawan emerged as the biggest gainers. Sharma was bought back by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs 3.75 crore. Four teams, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, bid for him. But Hyderabad always had the Card advantage. The Railways leg-spinner played for Rs 20 lakh last season.
Sharma, recently nominated as the BCCI’s best Under-25 player for the 2012-13 season, went to Punjab for Rs 3 crore. He was the most successful bowler of this Ranji season with 49 wickets and the franchises felt that he could carry forward his performance to the T20 format as well.
Surprisingly, Mumbai Indians, who had the Himachal Pradesh allrounder in their ranks last season, stopped their bid at Rs 40 lakh, but Delhi entered the fray and took the bid to Rs 80 lakh. After that it was a see-saw battle between Punjab and Hyderabad which the former won.
Several other lesser-known players also enjoyed a good auction. Maharashtra middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav was retained by Delhi for Rs 2 crore through Rights to Match option, Delhi middle-order batsman and part-time seamer Rajat Bhatia went from Kolkata Knight Riders to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.7 crore, Mumbai medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, too, moved to Rajasthan for Rs 1.1 crore, Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal was snapped up by Delhi for Rs 1.6 crore while Madhya Pradesh and India seamer Ishwar Pandey went to Chennai Super Kings for Rs 1.5 crore. Punjab batsman Gukeerat Singh joined his home franchise for 1.3 crore, Gujarat medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah was bagged by Mumbai for Rs 1.2 crore, and Karnataka’s KL Rahul, who enjoyed a good Ranji season and scored a ton in the final, was taken for Rs 1 crore by Hyderabad.
Among the uncapped foreign players, South African fast bowler Beuran Hendricks, who was the highest wicket-taker this season in the domestic T20 back home, got the best deal at Rs 1.8 crore with Punjab taking him after another round of frenetic bidding. Unlike Wednesday, biddings for a player were not restricted to just two-three teams and it made the morning session exciting.
Sale after lunch
After lunch, players who went unsold yesterday, were brought back to auction, and Delhi bought Ross Taylor at his base price at Rs 2 crore. “Yesterday, we waited and watched if he (Taylor) had any takers. But there were not many takers and we brought him back in the auction and got him at his base price,” Delhi bowling coach Eric Simons told The Indian Express.
Murali Kartik, too, got a team when Punjab forked out Rs 1 crore which was his base price. Chris Lynn from Australia and Andre Russel from West Russell went to Kolkata for Rs 1.3 crore and Rs 60 lakh respectively. Hyderabad took Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper Naman Ojha for Rs 50 lakh.
The best player of the Australian Big Bash, Ben Dunk, was grabbed by Mumbai for just Rs 20 lakh. It was a steal. In the end, a total of 154 players, from a pack of 514, were sold. Fifty among them were foreigners.