The IPL Auction 2016 was always expected to be a chase for the big name marquee players, with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Shane Watson and Kevin Pietersen going under the hammer. And the first round of bidding lived upto the billing as the star performers laughed their way to the bank. While in-form New Zealand opener Martin Guptill remained unsold in what was the biggest surprise of the morning, usual order was restored when the likes of Shane Watson and Yuvraj Singh attracted exciting bidding wars. Here are the Top 5 Highest Buys of the IPL Auction so far.
1. Shane Watson – Royal Challengers Bangalore – Rs 9.50 crore
Australian allrounder Shane Watson became the IPL 2016 Auction’s first million-dollar man as the comeback man who smashed a century against India in the 3rd T20 at Sydney last week was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Unwanted two months ago after being out of the Australian team and being dealt a huge financial blow with his former franchise Rajasthan Royals suspended, the big-hitting allrounder was the most wanted man at this year’s IPL Auction bagging a pay day amounting to 2 million Australian dollars.A bidding war between Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai was the key to Watson’s auction price soaring well above his initial base price of 2 crores.
2. Pawan Negi – Delhi Daredevils – Rs 8.50 crore
Smart buy or big gamble? That’s the beauty of the IPL Auction – reputations and records count for nothing. While a Mahela Jayawardene and Michael Hussey remained unsold, spin bowling allrounder Pawan Negi, formerly of the Chennai Super Kings, was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for an astonishing price of Rs 8.50 crore – becoming the 4th millionaire of this year’s IPL Auction. Pune Supergiants Head Coach Stephen Fleming was adamant on getting his man but the Delhi Daredevils were relentless in their pursuit of the slow left-arm orthodox bowler who plays for Delhi in first class cricket. And the bidding war ended with Delhi getting their man for Rs 8.50 crore.
3. Yuvraj Singh – Sunrisers Hyderabad – Rs 7 crore
The biggest catch of the last IPL Auction at Rs 16 crores, Yuvraj Singh had to be content with Rs 7 crores this time around as the southpaw was picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad – the best spenders of the morning at the IPL 2016 Auction. The former Delhi Daredevils batsman had a base price of Rs 2 crores, but a bidding war ensued between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore with the former acquiring his services. This caps a great year so far for Yuvraj culminated by his return to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup and now a big money IPL salary.
4. Chris Morris – Delhi Daredevils – Rs 7 crore
Every IPL sees at least one crazy bidding for a player – think Mashrafe Mortaza in IPL 2009 when Juhi Chawla of the KKR went crazy for him. This time around, it was South African Chris Morris who became the IPL 2016 Auction’s third millionaire at Rs 7 crore – 14 times his base price of 50 lakh. Pune Supergiants looked to be in the race, before Kolkata and Mumbai engaged in a hotly contested bidding war with Delhi Daredevils taking the spoils by coming in at the end. And their bid was unchallenged and they got their man for Rs 7 crore. Worth it or crazy bidding?
5. Mohit Sharma – Kings XI Punjab – Rs 6.5 crore
And Preity Zinta finally gets her man, albeit for a slightly higher price! The former Chennai Super Kings fast bowler was the subject of interest from Kolkata, Hyderabad and Punjab – mainly due to the dearth of quality fast bowlers around and Kings XI Punjab were involved in a frantic bidding war with Kolkata Knight Riders before Gautam Gambhir and co. opted out. Preity Zinta was adamant she wanted an Indian fast bowler and beat Hyderabad later in the chase for Mohit Sharma’s services. And it sure didn’t come for cheap. Rs 6.5 crore is a great pay day for the quickie.