The IPL 2021 auction in Chennai on Thursday saw some intense action and expected bidding wars. At the end of it, South African all-rounder Chris Morris walked away with a contract worth a whopping INR 16.25 crore.
Morris was purchased by the Rajasthan Royals, and thus became the most expensive player ever to be bought at an IPL auction. The previous record was in the name of former Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh, who was once purchased by the Delhi Capitals for INR 16 crore.
Among the other big buys at the IPL 2021 auction were New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson (sold to RCB for INR 15 crore), Australia’s Jhye Richardson (sold to PBKS for INR 14 crore) and India’s Krishnappa Gowtham (sold to CSK for INR 9.25 crore).
Fate of players with the highest base price at the IPL 2021 auction
Ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, a number of prominent players put up their names for bidding at the highest base price of INR 2 crore. With the mini-auction coming to an end, we take a look at how they performed.
#1. Glenn Maxwell (Sold to RCB for INR 14.25 crore)
Despite a disastrous IPL 2020 for the Punjab Kings (PBKS), Glenn Maxwell continued to find many takers at the IPL 2021 auction. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bid for him.
After an intense battle between CSK and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the latter eventually purchased him, shelling out INR 14.25 crore. Ironically, Maxwell got a bigger bid at the IPL 2021 auction than last time (INR 10.75 crore), despite his flop show.
#2. Steve Smith (Sold to DC for INR 2.2 crore)
Former Australian captain Steve Smith, who led the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2020, was purchased by the Delhi Capitals (DC) for INR 2.2 crore at the IPL 2021 auction. While the Royal Challengers Bangalore put in an opening bid for Smith, they did not pursue him hard and the Aussie went to DC for a budget price.
Smith was released by RR after a disastrous last season for the franchise under him. Rajasthan finished last in the points table in IPL 2020.
#3. Shakib Al Hasan (Sold to KKR for INR 3.2 crore)
KKR and PBKS bid for the famous Bangladesh all-rounder. Eventually, Shakib Al Hasan was purchased by KKR for INR 3.2 crore at the IPL 2021 auction. With his ability to win matches with both bat and ball, Shakib could be a major asset to KKR.
The Bangladesh cricketer has represented the franchise successfully in the past, so he should be confident of doing well again.
#4. Moeen Ali (Sold to CSK for INR 7 crore)
Given his all-round skills, England’s Moeen Ali was expected to walk away with a good price at the IPL 2021 auction. And the predictions came true as he was bought by CSK for an impressive INR 7 crore.
CSK and PBKS got into the bidding for Moeen, with the former eventually acquiring his services.
The England all-rounder impressed in the second Test against India, picking up eight wickets with his off-spin and smashing 43 from 18 balls in England’s second innings. The performance could have helped his cause.
#5. Kedar Jadhav (Sold to SRH for INR 2 crore)
Kedar Jadhav, who was released by CSK after a highly disappointing season with the franchise, was picked up by SRH for his base price.
Although Jadhav is definitely past his prime, Sunrisers may have picked Jadhav as a back-up batsman lower down the order, given his considerable experience in the format.
#6. Harbhajan Singh (Sold to KKR for INR 2 crore)
The veteran off-spinner was released by CSK ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. Harbhajan Singh had decided to skip IPL 2020 in the UAE, choosing to be with his family in times of pandemic.
The 40-year-old brings in the experience of 160 matches at 150 wickets at a strike rate of 22.49 and an economy rate of just over 7.
#7. Sam Billings (Sold to DC for INR 2 crore)
England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings was picked for his base price of INR 2 crore by Delhi Capitals at the IPL 2021 auction. The 29-year-old was earlier part of the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi in the IPL.
He represented the Sydney Thunder in the recent edition of the BBL. DC will look to exploit Billings’ big-hitting ability, which is yet to be completely tapped.
England opener Jason Roy went unsold. Another Englishman, Mark Wood, who had also entered his name at the highest base price of INR 2 crore, pulled out of the IPL 2021 auction just ahead of the event.