South Africa's Morris bags a million; Yuvraj, Watson too

The biggest surprise of round one of bidding at the IPL auction was the in-form New Zealand opener Martin Guptill going unsold © Getty Images

Australia allrounder Shane Watson was the IPL 2016 auction’s first million-dollar man, going to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 9.5 crore* after bidding for him began at Rs 2 crore. Yuvraj Singh was the second but the Rs 7 crore Sunrisers bid for him was far less than what he fetched at the last two auctions – Rs 16 crore last year. He looked like he might go unsold this time round after setting his base price at Rs 2 crore, but at the last moment he got a bid from Mumbai Indians, followed by Royal Challengers. There were a couple of early surprises among the unsold players too: the in-form New Zealand and Australia batsmen Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja.

Kevin Pietersen was the first player to be auctioned in Bangalore on Saturday, and he was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for Rs 3.5 crore after a bidding war with the other new team in the tournament, Gujarat Lions. His base price was Rs 2 crore. The two teams also faced off for West Indies opener, Dwayne Smith, who was eventually secured by Lions for Rs 2.3 crore after bidding began at Rs 50 lakh.

Ishant Sharma was the first Indian player to go under the hammer, and his bidding opened at Rs 2 crore from Kings XI Punjab, but Pune won out again, winning his services for Rs 3.8 crore. Ashish Nehra later sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 5.5 crore.

Australia opener Aaron Finch went unsold in the first round of bidding. Dale Steyn was the last man to be auctioned in the first round. Royal Challengers, Pune and Rajkot bid for him before Rajkot secured him for Rs 2.3 crore.

South Africa batsman Rilee Rossouw opened the second round – the batsmen’s round – and went unsold. Two big Test names followed, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hashim Amla, and they went unsold too. A bit more surprisingly, there were not bids for Mahela Jayawardene or Michael Hussey either.

Kerala’s Sanju Samson opened the round for wicketkeepers, and he looked like he might not get a bid but a late call from Delhi Daredevils – the franchise’s first of the day – triggered a fight between them and Rajkot. Daredevils won, picking Samson up for Rs 4.2 crore – his base price was Rs 2 crore. Dinesh Karthik was picked up by Rajkot for Rs 2.3 crore.

The bidding for England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was much-anticipated, and he went to Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.8 crore after setting his price at Rs 1.5 crore.

In the allrounders’ round, Irfan Pathan was the first player to be bought, going at his base price of Rs 1 crore to Pune. The big surprise of the round was South Africa’s Chris Morris, whose value exploded to Rs 7 crore – 14 times that of his base price of Rs 50 lakh. Pune was involved in the opening rounds of bidding for him, before Mumbai Indians and Knight Riders went neck to neck. With his value just one bid away from the million-dollar mark, Daredevils entered the fray, and no one challenged their bid.

West Indies’ Darren Sammy went unsold soon after, but Australia’s Mtichell Marsh picked up Rs 4.8 crore from Pune.

Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni opened the fast bowlers’ round, and he was picked up by Rajkot at his base price of Rs 2 crore.

*INR 1 crore = INR 100 lakh = INR 10000000 = USD 148 thousand approx
INR 1 lakh = INR 100 thousand = INR 100000 = USD 1480 approx

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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