Chris Morris became the most expensive buy ever in the history of Indian Premier League with a price tag of INR 16.25 crores as Rajasthan Royals went all-out for the South African all-rounder at the IPL 2021 Auction in Chennai on Thursday.
With a base price of just INR 75 lakhs, Morris invited a big battle that saw Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and the Royals fighting for the Proteas. The pink brigade eventually got the 33-year-old for the highest ever amount in the IPL auction, surpassing Yuvraj Singh’s record of INR 16 crore in 2015.
Uncapped player K Gowtham (base price INR 20 lakhs), who was released by Punjab Kings after the last season became the highest Indian buy at the table. The all-rounder was bought by Chennai Super Kings after an intense bidding war for a whopping INR 9.25 crores.
Another uncapped player Shahrukh Khan, who had a scintillating Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy campaign also grabbed big bucks and was bought by Punjab for INR 5.25 crores.
Earlier, All-rounder Glenn Maxwell also hit the jackpot as Royals Challengers Bangalore snapped up the Aussie for a whopping INR 14.25 crore at the bidding table. With a base price of INR 2 Crore, Maxwell started a three-way bidding war that saw Kolkata knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings fighting for him. KKR backed off mid-way but the intense battle between RCB and CSK continued. The Chennai franchise eventually backed off after his price crossed the 14 crore mark.
Bought by the Punjab Kings for INR 10.75 crores and then released after the season, it was a big pay day for Maxwell. RCB, who had a total purse of INR 34.5 crores before the auction, spent 14.25 crores for Maxwell.
In a major surprise, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who did not participate in the last edition of the IPL in the UAE due to COVID remained unsold. With a base price of INR 2 crore, Harbhajan this time found no buyers.
Rajasthan also got hold of India all-rounder Shivam Dube, who they bought for 4.4 crores. (base price 50 lakhs).
All-rounder Moeen Ali (base price INR 2 crore) too bagged a big chunk of money at the table after CSK bought the Englishman for INR 7 crores.
Aussie all-rounder Riley Meredith was also in the spotlight at the table as Punjab bought him for a whopping INR 8 crores from his base price of just INR 40 lakhs.
KKR made their first buy of the day in the form of Shakib Al Hasan, who was bought for INR 3.2 crores by the Shahrukh Khan-owned franchise. Shakib did not feature in the last edition of the IPL.
Pacer Adam Milne too ended up with a big cheque of INR 3.2 crore and was bought by MI.
Earlier, star batsman Steve Smith got the ball rolling at the auctions after he was snapped up by Delhi Capitals for the first buy of the day. After a slow start that saw Karun Nair, Alex Hales and Jason Roy going unsold, Smith was bought by DC for a price tag of INR 2.2 crores.
Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman and Englishman David Malan were bought for their base prices of 1 crore and 1.5 crores by RR and Punjab Kings respectively.
Among the other Indian uncapped players KC Cariappa, M Siddharth, Mohd. Azharuddeen, Vishnu Vinod and Sachin Baby were sold at their base pices.