The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Tuesday witnessed a new list of millionaires with Varun Chakaravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat topping the charts among the Indian players with a hefty purse of Rs 8.4 crore each, while Englishman Sam Curran emerged as the highest paid overseas player with a price tag of Rs 7.2 crore.
Varun, a little known mystery bowler, was purchased by the Kings XI Punjab while Unadkat, the left-arm quick, was snapped up by his former franchise — Rajasthan Royals, who had released him after a satisfactory stint last season.
Among other Indian players to breach the five-crore club are Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals), Mohit Sharma (Chennai Super Kings) and Shivam Dubey (Royal Challengers Bangalore).
Besides Curran, the other sought after overseas players were South African Colin Ingram, bought by the Delhi Capitals for a whopping Rs 6.4 crore, while West Indian power-hitter Carlos Brathwaite was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 5 crore.
But the major highlight of the day was the emergence of lesser known Indian players earning big in the auction. The trend was initially set by the Punjab franchise, who went for leg-spinner Varun Chakaravarthy, before further bolstering their bowling attack with the addition of Curran, and India’s pace spearhead Mohammed Shami for Rs 4.8 crore.
The Punjab side also bought 17-year-old wicket-keeper Prabhsimran Singh for a whopping Rs 4.8 crore while splurging Rs 4.2 crore for West Indian Nicolas Pooran and Rs 1 crore for Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques.
RCB also invested in many lesser known young faces like the uncapped Shivam, West Indian Shimron Hetmyer (Rs 4.2 crore), Akshsdeep Nath (Rs 3.6 crore) and Prayas Raj Barman (Rs 1.5 crore).
Delhi Capitals, formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils, also strengthened their middle-order batting by investing a lion’s share on Ingram besides spending Rs 2 crore each to bag the services of all-rounder Hanuma Vihari and Sherane Rutherford. It also got veteran India pacer and local boy Ishant Sharma for Rs 1.10 crore.
Coming to the Mumbai Indians, the side bolstered its bowling attack by buying Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga for Rs 2 crore while splurging Rs 3.4 crore to buy India discard Barinder Sran.
Another India discard Yuvraj Singh finally found a buyer in the Mumbai franchise, who bought him for his base price of Rs 1 crore. Interestingly, the southpaw went unsold in the first round.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad focused on getting a wicketkeeper-batsman to balance their batting and in the process, bagged the services of Englishman Jonny Bairstow for Rs 2.2 crore and India Test stumper Wriddhiman Saha for Rs 1.2 crore. It also got New Zealander Martin Guptill for Rs 1 crore after the right-hander went unsold in the first round.
Having retained the bulk of their side, defending champions Chennai Super Kings hardly required any fresh faces after regaining Mohit Sharma for Rs 5 crore.
The Dinesh Karthik-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) also kept their focus on a number of rookies, besides splurging crores on Brathwaite (Rs 5 crore) and Lockie Ferguson (Rs 1.6 crore).
Inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals got their main man back in the form of Unadkat but despite that spent big on bagging other quicks in Varun Aaron (Rs 2.4 crore) and Oshane Thomas (Rs 1.10 crore).
Meanwhile, South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn was among some of the biggest names to miss out even in the second and final round.
The other stars who went unsold are India Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, New Zealanders Brendon McCullum, James Neesham and Corey Anderson, Englishmen Chris Woakes, Alex Hales and Chris Jordan, South Africans Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel, and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera.
Former West Indian skipper Jason Holder and Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim also failed to find any buyer along with Australians Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and stumper Ben McDermott.
Besides Pujara, the other notable Indian names to miss out in the auction include Naman Ojha, R.Vinay Kumar, Parvez Rasool, Baba Indrajith, Sheldon Jackson, Sachin Baby and Manoj Tiwary.