Displaying the strong battle in picking up the key players to build a potent team for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, the IPL Auctions that began on Thursday in Chennai had written history in its first episode itself. As the sequel of battle in the auctioning South African player Chris Morris, he has become the most expensive player in the IPL history surpassing India's Yuvraj Singh.
The battle for Chris Morris had raised many eyebrows as Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore were in a war to win Morris, who came to the auction with Rs 75 lakh as his base price. Punjab Kings had also bidded to rope Chris Morris as his base price has been skyrocketing to a new high.
In an unexpected fashion, the South African pacer, who was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, had become the most expensive player in IPL after Rajasthan Royals had bought him for Rs 16.25 crore.
Earlier, Yuvraj Singh was the most expensive IPL player after he was bought for Rs 16 crore by Delhi in 2015. By surpassing Yuvraj's worth, Morris has created a new feat. Chris Morris was on the list of high-profile overseas players during the auction but it was a surprise for many after his bid reached a new high, which is far greater than his base price of Rs 75 lakh. Steven Smith initially came under the auction hammer with the base price of Rs 2 crore and eventually, he was picked by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crore.
Following Smith, another Australian Glenn Maxwell came for auction and there was a direct battle between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both the teams had fought harder to acquire Maxwell and Chennai was brave enough to invest more in Maxwell from its available purse value.
Chennai had 19.20 crore in his kitty and Super Kings had brought Maxwell's bid over 14 crores, but finally, Bangalore bought Maxwell for Rs 14.25 crore, making him the second expensive player in the current action so far.
In line with the many overseas players, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan came to the auction with the base price of Rs 2 crore and he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 3.2 crore. English bowler Moeen Ali came next under the hammer with the base price of Rs 2 crore.
As speculated, Moeen Ali was bought by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 7 crore. India's Shivam Dube came for the auction with the base price of Rs 50 lakh. After several exchanges of bids, Shivam Dube was bought for Rs 4.4 crore by Rajasthan Royals.
Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1 crore. In yet another significant development, Australia's Jhye Richardson was bought for Rs 14 crore by Punjab Kings. Richardson came to the auction with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Mumbai Indians had bought Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile for Rs 5 crore and India's pacer Umesh Yadav was bought by Delhi Capitals for his base price of Rs 1 crore.
Piyush Chawla, who was released by Chennai Super Kings, was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.4 crore and he came for the auction with the base price of Rs 50 lakh. Surprisingly, many veteran cricketers had gone unsold and the list of unsold players include Alex Carey, Harbhajan Singh, Glenn Phillips, and Kedhar Jadhav.