Chennai Super Kings, focussed on bolstering its bowling attack, signed leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood at the IPL auction on Thursday.
While Chawla became the most expensive Indian buy at Rs 6.75 crore, Hazlewood was lapped up for his base price of Rs 2 crore. Ahead of the auction — despite the Australians occupying the second-biggest pool (35 players) - as has been the case in a majority of IPL auctions - there were reports that multiple franchises were confused on how to punt on Australia’s top stars.
However, with Cummins and Hazlewood attracting big bids, those concerns have been allayed.
Meanwhile, Chawla, who is the fourth highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, became the fifth spinner in the CSK squad above the age of 30. Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are part of the CSK team.
In 2011, Chawla was signed by Kings XI Punjab, but has been with the Kolkata Knight Riders side since 2014. KKR bought him for 4.25 crore in 2014 and then bought him back for 4.20 crore in 2018.
“First it was a sense of relief and when they told me I have got bids. And when I heard the price and more importantly the team, I was extremely delighted,” Chawla told Sportstar a day before he rejoins Gujarat for its Ranji Trophy campaign.
“I am really looking forward to playing for Chennai Super Kings. It’s a great team with Mahi bhai (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), arguably the greatest captain in the world. Just couldn’t have asked for more.”
Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings head coach, also stressed on Chawla's - who was a member of India’s triumphant campaigns in the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup under Dhoni - rapport with Dhoni.
With inputs from Amol Karhadkar
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