The latest edition of the biggest cricketing event the mega money rich IPL has been quite surprising with many of the well-known players unsold. It was a great shock for all the cricket crazy fans to realize that some of their favorite players did not find a place in the team. The most prominent among them being Lasith Malinga, Joe Root, Cory Anderson, Martin Guptill, Dale Steyn, Hasim Amla and a few more.
It also wasn’t easy for players like Chris Gayle, Michel Johnson, etc. to get buyers. Gayle who was earlier a batting sensation in IPL remained unsold for a large portion of time in the last auction and then was acquired cheaply by Kings XI Punjab at just the base price same was the case for Johnson who was taken at the end by Kolkata Knight Riders.
The player who was once the highest money maker in IPL – Yuvraj Singh, the sixer King – he was also acquired at his base price. In this edition of the auction majority of the non-subcontinental players remained unsold. The youth talent in India, however, found exceptional money prominent among them being Jaydev Unadkat, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya. They would be laughing their way to the banks.
The U-19 talent also didn’t go unnoticed as Prithvi I Shaw, Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti etc bagged a good amount which was much above their base prices. It was a happy day for Afghanistan players as well. Another surprise which was unveiled earlier was the 2-time winning captain Gautam Gambhir not being retained by his team managers.
The positive side of the auction was that youth budding uncapped players were able to grab a huge sum as they have earned the trust of the selectors. D’arcy Short and Jofra Archer were acquired at a good price by Rajasthan Royals. The highest bid in the auction was for Ben Stokes who got a whopping sum of 12.5 Cr in his bank account. His services were acquired by Rajasthan Royals at the start of day 1 itself.
The most important reason for many players being unsold was that the teams already had a pre-planned set of players in their mind and they did not want to unnecessarily buy foreign players in their team for they could use only 4 of them in a single match. Well, the ones who went unsold will be luckier than the one who will be warming up the benches in the IPL. For they can practice at their place rather than sitting and letting their rhythm fall.
Last year Jason Roy became a victim of this and was also dropped from his national side after the IPL due to lack of rhythm. Now the biggest question remains is who shall captain the newly formed teams of Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Delhi Daredevils. Most probably it seems like Gambhir will shoulder the responsibility of Delhi Daredevils but there can also be Glen Maxwell.
For Kings XI Punjab it seems like Yuvraj Singh is going to be the man for this team gave a great importance on buying local talent during the auction, Kolkata Knight Riders remains the most unpredictable. It seems like it could end up with Robin Uttapa since he was associated with the team for a long time but so was Gambhir and they let Gambhir go.
So could we see Cris Lynn or Sunil Narine being the caption? Well, no one knows what surprise Kolkata Knight Riders might give now. Cricket is full of such surprises and this IPL auction has confirmed it.