IPL Auction 2019: Varun Chakravarthy, Jaydev Unadkat costliest buys; Yuvraj goes to Mumbai

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Jaydev Unadkat got the highest bids of 8.4 crore each, while English all-rounder Sam Curran was picked for 7.2 crore in IPL Auction 2019. Shivam Dube and Prabhsimran Singh, two uncapped players, attracted bids of 5 crore and 4.8 crore. Yuvraj Singh, unsold in the first round, was picked by Mumbai Indians for 1 crore.

Tamil Nadu leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy has attracted the joint highest bid for an Indian player at Rs 8.4 Crores.   -  R.Ragu

Much before the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction got underway, there were murmurs that Rajasthan Royals will bring back Jaydev Unadkat in its ranks. The franchise officials had even indicated that they would go ‘all out’ for JD - as he is fondly referred to.

And on Tuesday, the franchise splurged Rs 8.4 crore on the Saurashtra medium pacer. That made him the biggest buy of the auction, along with Tamil Nadu’s mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy, who was roped in by Kings XI Punjab.

IPL Auction 2019 | As it Happened

While Unadkat - who had fetched a whopping Rs 11.5 crore last year - was brought back into Royals ranks at a cut of almost Rs 3 lakh, uncapped Varun got a whopping 42 times increase in is base price, and later in the evening, the Kings XI CEO, Satish Menon, admitted that they wanted to explore the ‘mystery spinner’.

“Last year, we got Mujeeb (Afghanistan’s young spinner, Mujeeb Zadran), and now, we wanted to go for Varun,” Menon said.

An architect-turned-cricketer Varun shot to fame  in the Tamil Nadu Premier League and was a fourth division player until 2017.

READ: Varun Chakravarthy: Base price Rs 20 lakh, sold for Rs 8.4 crore

However, this year he made his Ranji Trophy debut against Hyderabad. In the nine List A matches that he has played, Varun has picked 22 wickets which includes a five-wicket haul. That certainly played a key role in Kings XI’s decision to go for the young spinner.

If Unadkat and Varun had reasons to rejoice, it was an eventful day for young Mumbai batsman Shivam Dubey.

The big-hitting all-rounder made the headlines the other day for hitting five sixes in five deliveries in a Ranji Trophy fixture against Baroda.

And, that seems to pay off as he was roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 5 crore. “We all know (he is a good batsman). Hope he continues with the form,” RCB chairman, Sanjay Churiwala, said.

With a maximum of 70 slots available - 50 Indians and 20 overseas players - the franchises had a limited purse available, but even then, a total of 60 players were sold, among which 20 were overseas cricketers.

The franchises, however, adventured a little - picking up some of the lesser known names at higher prices.

READ: Never expected I would be picked for Rs 8.4 crore, says Varun Chakravarthy

India’s U-19 wicket-keeper batsman and captain, Prabhsimran Singh, is one such example. Brother of Punjab cricketer Anmolpreet Singh - who was picked by Mumbai Indians - Prabhsimran was picked up for Rs 4.8 crore by Kings XI Punjab, while 16-year-old leggie from Bengal, Prayas Ray Barman was picked up for Rs 1.5 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore after an impressive Vijay Hazare outing recently.

With no clarity on whether the tournament will be held in India or shifted to South Africa or the UAE, the franchises decided to put their money on the pacers.

And quite interestingly, most of them were Indians. Along with Unadkat, Mohammed Shami also fetched big money, as he was bought by Rs 4.80 crore by Kings XI Punjab. Ishant Sharma, who had a base price of Rs 1 crore, was sold to Delhi Capitals for Rs 1.10 crore.

Other fast bowlers in the Indian domestic circuit - Mohit Sharma and Varun Aaron - were also bought after massive bidding wars among teams.

Mohit, a member of the India's World Cup team in 2015, returned to Chennai Super Kings when he was roped in for Rs 5 crore.

Punjab’s Barinder Sran was also roped in by Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.4 crore.

Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga who was one of Mumbai Indians' coaching staff last season returned as a player.   -  GETTY IMAGES


It was also interesting to see Sri Lankan pace ace, Lasith Malinga, going back to Mumbai Indians at his base price of Rs 2 crore. Having been a coaching staff last year, Malinga returned to the fore, this time as a player.

It, however, was a day of disappointment for Yuvraj Singh. One of the biggest stars of white-ball cricket, Yuvraj went unsold in the first round, only to be picked by Mumbai Indians at his base-price of Rs 1 crore.

Once considered the biggest performer in the shorter format, Yuvraj’s indifferent form seems to have gone against him. But Mumbai owner, Akash Ambani, said that the franchise ‘wanted Yuvraj’ for a long time, but could not afford so far because of a tight purse.

With Zaheer Khan named the head of operations and Rohit Sharma as the captain, Ambani hoped that Malinga and Yuvraj’s experience will count.

Of the 20 overseas recruits, England all-rounder Sam Curran went to Kings XI Punjab for Rs 7.2 crore, while Colin Ingram was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 6.4 crore.

West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite, who went to Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 5 crore, was one of the surprise picks, along with Shimron Hetmyer (Rs 4.2 Crore to Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Nicholas Pooran (Rs 4.2 Crore to Kings XI Punjab). First-timer Johny Bairstow from England went to SRH for Rs 2.2 crore.

But then with some of the big names like Brendon McCullum, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn not finding any takers, it was evident that the franchises wanted fresh guns.

With uncertainty on the venue and availability of international players due to the World Cup, the franchises had to keep a ‘Plan B’ open, and by bringing most of the Indian talents on board, the franchises seem to have struck the right chord.

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