Australia’s veteran all-rounder Shane Watson emerged as the biggest draw going for a whopping Rs 9.50 crore but it was young uncapped all-rounder Pawan Negi who turned heads with a mind-boggling deal of Rs 8.50 crore to be the costliest Indian buy in an otherwise low-key IPL players’ auction Bengaluru on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Watson, who marked his return to form with a blazing century against India in the last T20, triggered an intense bidding war among three franchises before Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) clinched the deal with the highest package so far.
Watson thus became the first million dollar buy of the auction with his package translating into USD 1.39 million.
He was joined by Yuvraj Singh (Rs 7 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad) soon after even though Saturday’s bid was far less than the Rs 16 crore he had garnered in the last auction.
The duo were the big hits of the morning session which started with the auctioning for the 12 marquee players.
Also walking away with a package of Rs 7 crore was South Africa’s big-hitting all-rounder Chris Morris, who was bought by Delhi Daredevils.
However, the show-stealer of the day came in the post-lunch session in the 23-year-old Negi, who has created a flutter with his selection for the Twenty20 World Cup next month.
The youngster, who has played for Chennai Super Kings, had a bonanza awaiting him just a day after being selected for the Indian team.
No uncapped player has clinched the mammoth deal that he managed to get after an intense bidding war, which was won by Delhi Daredevils.
Although Negi clinched the biggest deal but it was a rewarding day for India’s uncapped players, many of whom fetched excellent packages.
Some among them were Karun Nair (Rs 4 crore to Delhi Daredevils), India under-19 player Rishabh Pant (Rs 1.9 crore to Delhi), all-rounder Deepak Hooda (Rs 4.2 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Tamil Nadu spinner M Ashwin (Rs 4.5 crore to Rising Pune Super Giants) and Krunal Pandya (Rs 2 crore to Mumbai Indians).
Among the big names, veteran Indian pacer Ashish Nehra (Rs 5.5 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Ishant Sharma (Rs 3.8 crore to Rising Pune Super Giants), Kevin Pietersen (Rs 3.5 crore to RPSG), and Dwayne Smith (Rs 2.3 crore to Gujarat Lions) were the top draws among the marquee players in the auction which was beamed live to millions of viewers.