Chennai, Feb 18 (IANS) South Africa’s Chris Morris on Thursday fetched the highest ever bid of Rs 16.25 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history as Rajasthan Royals (RR) picked the pace-bowling all-rounder after intense competition with Punjab Kings at a player auction here. The base price of 33-year-old Morris, who didn’t have a great 2020 IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was Rs.75 lakh.
Yuvraj Singh held the previous all-time record with Rs.16 crore, for which Delhi Daredevils bought him in 2015. And the highest ever bid for a foreigner was Rs.15.5 crore for which Kolkata Knight Riders bought Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins last year.
On Thursday, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for Rs.14.25 crore after intense bidding with three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings. Maxwell’s base price was Rs.2 crore.
Maxwell, 32, was earlier released by Punjab Kings (earlier called Kings XI Punjab), who had bought him for Rs.10.75 crore for the 2020 edition.
Australia pace bowler Jhye Richardson, 24, also hit the jackpot, by fetching Rs.14 crore from Punjab Kings after he also evinced interest from Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. His base price was Rs.1.5 crore.
Kumar Sangakkara, RR’s Director of Cricket and former Sri Lanka captain, justified the money spent on Morris.
“Yes, we know we paid a high price [for Morris]. But we were looking for a specific role. We wanted to strengthen the middle-order. He provides value with both bat and ball. His numbers with the ball are great across IPLs,” he said.
RCB head coach Mike Hesson pointed out the fine form Maxwell is in.
“He’s a multi-skilled player, he’s good in the field and is able to bowl off spin, so just depends on what teams want. We all know what good touch he is in away from the IPL. Only a couple of years ago in 2017 he was used higher up the order and had his best IPL, so we’ll look at how we best use him…help AB [de Viliers] out and provide a bit of power through the middle there. We’ve obviously got other players to do other jobs, so we were after that X-factor player and we’ve found that in Glenn Maxwell, so we’re delighted,” said Hesson.
England’s off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali, who just a few days ago played the second Test against India in Cehnnai, went to CSK for Rs.7 crore. His reserve price was Rs.2 crore.
Indian domestic players also hit gold with Tamil Nadu youngster Shahrukh Khan, who impressed with his hard-hitting in the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, being bought by Punjab Kings for Rs.5.25 crore.
Krishnappa Gowtham, Karnataka’s off-spinner and lower-order batsman, was bought for Rs.9.25 crore by Chennai Super Kings. Gowtham reserve price was Rs.20 lakh.
India all-rounder Shivam Dube, who was released by RCB, was bought by RR for 4.4 crore. His base price was Rs.50 lakh.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hassan went for Rs.3.2 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders while Australian batsman Steve Smith (base price: Rs.2 crore) was picked for Rs 2.2 crore by Delhi Capitals.