At the IPL 2016 players’ auction, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a whopping Rs 9.50 crore. Pawan Negi and Yuvraj Singh emerged as the top Indian buys. 23-year-old Negi was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 8.5 crore and Yuvraj went to the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 7 crore.
34-year-old Watson, who marked his return to form with a blazing century against India in the last T20, triggered an intense bidding war among three franchises before RCB clinched the deal. Watson’s package translates to USD 1.39 million.
Yuvraj Singh wasn’t third-time lucky in terms of being the biggest buy at the IPL as he was sold for a whopping Rs 16 crore last year. But the franchises did say that there was a lot of interest in buying him.
“I don’t agree (that Yuvraj did not evoke interest among bidders). If you look at the bidding we were very interested, but issues of bidding and price ceiling issues, did not allow us to go for him. He is really a marquee player and hope he plays for us sometime in the future,” RCB Director Amrit Thomas told reporters in Bengaluru.
Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh fetched a good deal from the Pune franchise which bid Rs 4.8 crore for him.
Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who had got a stunning deal of over Rs 12 crore from the Delhi Daredevils last year, went for a much lower amount of Rs 2.3 crore this time to the Gujarat Lions.
Indian pacer Mohit Sharma was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 6.5 crore. Another veteran Indian pacer, Ashish Nehra went to the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 5.5 crore.
Young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who had a base price of Rs 2 crore, was a much sought after player who was finally picked up by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 4.2 crore.
English batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was the most expensive player not many years ago, went to the Pune team for Rs 3.5 crore.
Surprisingly, Australia’s T20 captain Aaron Finch, New Zealand’s big-hitting batsman Martin Guptill, former Australian captain George Bailey, South African Hashim Amla, and retired players like Mahela Jayawardene, Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin went unsold.
The auction saw celebrity owners like Nita Ambani, Preity Zinta and Vijay Mallya and former players like Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming, VVS Laxman, Tom Moody, Brad Hodge and Daniel Vettori actively involved in the bidding process for their respective franchises.
(With inputs from agencies)