India opener KL Rahul and middle-order batsman Manish Pandey bagged bumper deals as 78 players (29 overseas) were sold on Day 1 of the Indian Premier League Player Auction held at Bengaluru. Kings XI Punjab and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) were involved in a bidding war for Rahul, with the former acquiring his services at Rs 11 crore after Royal Challengers Bangalore did not use their Right to Match (RTM) card to retain him. Interestingly, Pandey was bought by SRH at the exact same price to equal Rahul as the most expensive Indian at this year’s auction until then. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), after several discussions, opted not to use the RTM card to retain the stylish right-hander.
KKR and SRH opted not to use RTM cards to retain star left-handers Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh respectively. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) acquired the services of Yuvraj at his base price of Rs 2 crore after no other franchise showed any interest in the World Cup winner.
Gambhir, who led Kolkata to two IPL titles, was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils for Rs. 2.80 crore after KXIP stopped bidding at Rs 2.60 crore.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Australia pacer Mitchell Starc were picked up by Rajasthan Royals (RR) and KKR respectively. Rajasthan bagged Stokes for Rs 12.50 crore with KXIP dropping out of the race to sign him.
Starc, sold to Kolkata for Rs 9.40 crore, was also on KXIP’s radar. However, the Punjab franchise decided not to pursue the player after their final bid of Rs. 9.20 crore.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan earned himself a mega Indian Premier League (IPL) contract with the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) initially beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with a bid of Rs 9 crore, however Hyderabad used their Right to Match (RTM) card to retain the highly rated youngster.
Rashid made a huge mark for cricket in Afghanistan when he was purchased Hyderabad for Rs 4 crore in the 2017 auction. Rashid picked up 17 wickets in 14 matches with a strike rate of 19.05 during the last IPL season.
SunRisers Hyderabad used their Right to Match (RTM) card to retain Shikhar Dhawan for Rs 5.20 crore, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was picked up by KXIP for Rs 7.60 crore.
Rajasthan made use of their RTM card to acquire Ajinkya Rahane for Rs. 4 crore.
West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle surprisingly went unsold despite his well-established T20 batting credentials. England Test captain Joe Root also went unsold.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya and Jofra Archer from West Indies led the way for the uncapped players in the IPL auction. Krunal bagged a whopping Rs 8.8 crore as Mumbai Indians used their Right to Match (RTM) to retain him.
Krunal is now the highest paid uncapped player in IPL history. While little-known Archer from the West Indies attracted a Rs 7.2 crore winning bid from Rajasthan Royals.