The Indian Premier League 2016 auction got off to an exciting start as the likes of Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Kevin Pietersen received big bids, especially with Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions trying to build a team almost from scratch. (IPL Auction 2016 Live)
Australian all-rounder Watson, who had a base price of Rs 2 crore, was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 9.5 crore.
Yuvraj, who was the most expensive player in last year’s auction, was snapped up by surprise package of the auction so far – Sunrisers Hyderabad – for Rs 7 crore.
However, arguably the biggest surprise of the auction was South Africa’s Chris Morris. The bowling all-rounder, who had a base price of Rs 50 lakh, sparked a bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders but in the end Delhi <a href=”http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/teams/2142-delhi-daredevils-teamprofile” title=”Delhi Daredevils”>Daredevils swooped in with a bid Rs 7 crore to take home the player.
Another player, who went for big money was Indian pacer Mohit Sharma. The former Chennai Super Kings player had a base price of Rs 1.5 crore and was finally bought for a whopping Rs 6.5 crore by Kings XI Punjab.
Pietersen, who has done well in the recently concluded Big Bash League, was snapped up by the Pune Supergiants for Rs 3.5 crore.
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was another player the Pune franchise had eyes on and they got their man for Rs 3.8 crore.
There were a few surprises in store for some big names, though. Australia’s T20 captain and arguably one of the most prolific run-getters in the shortest format of the game, Aaron Finch, went unsold along with New Zealand star Martin Guptill.
Finch had a base price of Rs 1 crore while Guptill had a base price of Rs 50 lakh.
However, a big surprise came in the form of Australian batsman Usman Khawaja, who had a base price of Rs 1 crore, also failing to get a bid.
Sanju Samson, though, had no such problem as Delhi Daredevils shelled out Rs 4.2 crore for the young batsman. Dinesh Karthik became Gujarat Lions third buy of the day as the wicketkeeper was snapped up for Rs 2.3 crore.
Gujarat Lions, surprisingly, needed to bid just Rs 2.3 crore to get South Africa’s premier pacer, Dale Steyn, for Rs 2.3 crore.
West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was another surprise package. Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders made shock bids that resulted in the Caribbean player, who had a base price of Rs 30 lakh, being sold for Rs 4.2 crore to the Delhi franchise.
Two young Indian left-arm pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Barinder Singh Sran also joined the ‘crore club’. While Unadkat was snapped up for Rs 1.6 crore by Knight Riders, Sran became a Sunrisers player for Rs 1.2 crore.