Big gambles at IPL auction

Team owners splurge INR 5.5 billion on 204 players for IPL 2022

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February 17, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Big gambles at IPL auction

Teams bidding in millions in order to get their favourite players to play with (Photo: Twitter)

The IPL auction this year saw 10 teams bidding for over 600 players in an exciting bidding match. With this being a Mega Auction, team managers came out with their best strategies and kitties full to get the players that they wanted. There was chaos and celebrations at the auction with teams competing against each other, giving each other stink eyes while trying to get their preferred players.

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By the time, the two-day long Indian Premier League auction wound down to a halt late in the evening on February 13, a total of INR 5.5 billion (USD 73.3 million) had been spent by 10 teams, vying for their favourites from amongst the 600 players that were part of the pool that had been put under the hammer at the auction.

A total of 204 players had been acquired by the teams for their squads and the most expensive buy was Ishaan Kishaan, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for INR 152.5 million. This was just a tad lower than the record INR 162.25 million paid by Rajasthan Royals for South African bowling allrounder Chris Morris in the 2021 Mini Auction.

After two long days of the IPL Mega Auction, there is a lot of buzz in the air about the teams and the players they chose, as well as the strategies employed by teams during the auction. The auction this year was a ‘Mega Auction’ with almost 600 players in the auction pool and teams being allowed only four retentions. Such an auction takes place every three years to ensure team balance and to provide an opportunity to uncapped players to enter the IPL. This year’s auction hosted by Hugh Edmeades and Charu Sharma was an exhilarating event, with the 10 teams bidding for players. Here are some of the main highlights from the auction.

With the franchises and participants protesting against the auction system, the 2022 IPL Auction could well be the last mega auction the Board for Control of Cricket in India, the sport regulator in India, would organise. This meant a lot was at stake for all the franchises, but especially the two new ones, as their main strategy behind their bids was to ensure that their teams were balanced and well thought out for the coming years. Defying past precedence of new IPL franchises being slightly on the backfoot, CVC Capital Partners owned Gujarat Titans and Goenka Group’s Lucknow Super Giants impressed almost everyone with their strategy and the way they went about their bids.

Gujarat Titans already had a strong core with the swashbuckling hitter, Indian heartthrob Hardik Pandya leading them, one of the most feared leggies of the cricketing world Rashid Khan leading their spin attack, and one of India’s heroes at international cricket, Shubman Gill opening the batting for them. But the Titans weren’t done here. They went on to secure English hard-hitter Jason Roy to accompany Gill and share the opening duties. The Titans then also secured the duties of one of the most experienced Indian pacers Mohammed Shami, and Kiwi yorker genius Lockie Ferguson. The Titans definitely have a lot of huge names in their side, and they were very good to ensure a good bowling attack. However, the lack of a solid 3rd and 4th batsman might come back to haunt them at the most competitive cricketing league in the world.

For those who have watched cricket even a little bit in the last three years, it would be impossible to not know of the enigmatic wicketkeeper-batsman – KL Rahul. After parting ways with Punjab Kings in a rather unfortunate breakup with the management, Rahul found new love in the form of a star-studded Lucknow Supergiants squad just one day before Valentine’s Day. Rahul proves he has good timing on the field, and off the field. KL Rahul was joined by Australian T20 World Cup hero Marcus Stoinis, and a future Indian star, Ravi Bishnoi before the auction proceedings began.

In the auction, the Supergiants’ bidders ensured that Rahul has a solid team to lead in the IPL. Supergiants were able to secure one of the most anticipated players in the auction – South African Quinton de Kock, one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen to share opening duties with their skipper Rahul. They were also quick to grab an established IPL batsman in the form of Manish Pandey for their middle order. However, what makes the Supergiants a force to reckon with is the West Indies all-rounder and former captain, Jason Holder, who was also one of the most anticipated players on offer in the pool.

The Supergiants have an impressive bowling attack, too. Ex-Delhi Capital pacer, and the second highest wicket taker of IPL 2021, Avesh Khan will be paired up with one of the fastest bowlers in the world, the Englishman, Mark Wood, who is known to break stumps with his pace and accuracy. To stir up some family drama, this will also be the first time that brothers Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya will play in different teams, with the latter being swooped by the Supergiants to offer his services with the bowl and the bat. Personally, I think this Supergiants squad is definitely one to look out for, and on paper, is surely a trophy-winning line up.

The beauty of the IPL auction is that a team does not always need to buy star-studded players to be impressive. Sometimes, you can steal the show like Kiran Kumar Gandhi of the Delhi Capitals did. Gandhi has been a part of the Delhi Capitals management for quite some while, and in the latest auction, he proved why. His strategy to hinder other teams’ conquests, and at the same time securing amazing deals, is something that led to him being widely hailed by social media. Gandhi bid for almost every player, even the ones that didn’t seem like a part of Delhi’s list, to inflate the prices of these players, and made it very hard for other teams to get their players at the price they wanted. This move by Gandhi led to him significantly reducing other teams’ purses, which definitely impacted the later bids of these teams.

Another team which had a huge mission to accomplish in this IPL was the Royal Challengers Bangalore. After the trailblazer of modern cricket Virat Kohli stepped down as the captain of the Challengers, they had huge shoes to fill. The management bought the Chennai fame, and one of the most praised cricketers in the world – South African Faf Du Plessis. However, even with this buy, it is not confirmed who will lead the RCB side, with Maxwell also being an option. Whatever the case be, RCB surely has a line up filled with experienced leaders, which probably won’t let them feel the void of Kohli not coming out for the toss ceremony.

With the auction coming to a close, fans are excited to see how these bets placed by their favourite teams are going to pan out in the spring. The Indian Premier League for 2022 is scheduled between April 2nd and June 3rd. The League is returning home after two years of being organised abroad due to Covid-19 restrictions. Fans are excited to finally see their favourite players play on home grounds. Last year, the tournament’s viewership in India was 405 million, half of the total television viewership in the country. This season promises to be a cocktail mix of hopes and dreams packed into one entertaining tournament.

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