(Conversion rates as follows: USD 1 = INR 73 approx; INR 50 lakh = USD 68,000 approx; INR 1 crore = USD 137,000 approx; INR 10 crore = USD 1,370,000 approx)
Chris Morris, the South African allrounder, became the IPL’s most expensive overseas player ever signed at an auction after he was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 16.25 crore ($2.2 million). Morris was at the centre of a fierce bidding war involving four different teams, with the Royals eventually beating out Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings to sign the player. Morris had previously played for the Royals during the 2015 season and was the team’s joint-highest wicket-taker that year with 13 scalps.
Morris overtook Yuvraj Singh (Rs 16 crore in 2015), Pat Cummins (Rs 15.5 crore in 2020) and Ben Stokes (Rs 14.5 crore in 2017) as the costliest buy at an IPL auction, but the Royals believe it was money well spent.
“We did due diligence, he’s an ex-Royal who can deal with a price tag like that,” Jake Lush McRum, the Royals CEO, said. ” He is a quality bowler through all phases of the game, can win us games with the bat too. We did stretch, that was our last bid, luckily Kings XI held back. Delighted to have him back with the Royals.”
Australia’s Glenn Maxwell and Jhye Richardson also bagged multi-million dollar deals in the ongoing auction, signed for big money by the Royal Challengers ($1.95 million) and Punjab Kings ($1.91 million) respectively.
Bidding for Maxwell began at his base price Rs 2 crore and quickly spiralled, with the Royals, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders also fighting for his signature.
The Knight Riders and Royals began the initial tussle, before the Royal Challengers swooped in with an offer of Rs 4 crore. Soon, the Super Kings also threw their bid into the hat, going as far as Rs 14 crore before bowing out. Maxwell had spent seven seasons with the Punjab Kings, scoring 1383 runs at a strike rate of 157.69, and helped the team reach the final in 2014.
The Royal Challengers also came close to bagging Maxwell’s Australian team-mate Steven Smith at his base price of Rs 2 crore, but were eventually beaten out by Delhi Capitals, who signed him for Rs 2.2 crore.
Having missed out on Maxwell, the Super Kings did eventually manage to get another allrounder, fighting off bids from Punjab Kings to land England’s Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore. Punjab Kings also tried to get Shakib Al Hasan for Rs 2.6 crore, but Bangladesh’s premier allrounder was eventually sold for Rs 3.2 crore to his former team at the Knight Riders, with who he won the title in both 2012 as well as 2014.
Punjab Kings finally made their first buy of the auction by signing England opener and the top-ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan for his base price of Rs 1.5 crore. They then splashed Rs 14 crore on Richardson, winning a lengthy battle against the Capitals and the Royal Challengers for the Perth Scorchers fast bowler.
Allrounder Shivam Dube was the only Indian sold from the first batch of players at the auction, the Royals bagging his services for Rs 4.4 crore.
Mumbai, the most successful IPL team and two-time defending champions, spent most of their purse on boosting their already stellar bowling attack, signing Adam Milne (Rs 3.20 crore), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Rs 5 crore) and Piyush Chawla (Rs 2.40 crore).