There was a pool of talented players available in the IPL 2018 that took place few days back. It has been a goldmine for Afghan player Rashid Khan and the leg spinner was retained for Rs 9 crores by Sunrisers Hyderabad. KL Rahul and middle-order batsman Manish Pandey bagged bumper deals at the Indian Premier League Player Auction. Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) were involved in a bidding war for Rahul, with the former acquiring his services at Rs 10.5 crores 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.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) opted not to use Right to Match (RTM) cards to retain star left-handers Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh respectively at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Bengaluru. Kings XI Punjab 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 crores after KXIP stopped bidding at Rs 2.60 crores.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Australia pacer Mitchell Starc were picked up by Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the IPL Player Auction. Rajasthan bagged Stokes for Rs 12.50 crores with Kings XI Punjab (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 RTM. But they went for all rounder Ravichandran Ashwin for a price of Rs 7.60 crores.
IPL 2017 title winners Mumbai Indians decided to retain three Indian players with skipper Rohit Sharma, seamer Jasprit Bumrah and all rounder Hardik Pandya coming back to the side. The defending champions decided to release Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga, who have been with the franchise since the start of the tournament in 2008. Krunal Pandya, who proved himself to be an exciting domestic talent, was not retained, but with the side having the option to retain two uncapped players, it is highly likely the
second Pandya brother will return to the franchise. Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard can also return via RTM, but with the franchise picking up three Indian capped players, it means they cannot use a card for Harbhajan Singh.
It is indeed a treasure island and foreign players come to India to play this Indian Plunder League for the sake of money and other side attractions. In the 10th edition of IPL saw the auction move in for mix of Indian and foreign players, Indian players were getting the booty in the past and this time also. Inclusion of so many fast bowlers looks ridiculous in Indian conditions. The Indian wickets are slow during April-May 18 and it may prove a spoiler as the wickets in India are very slow. IPL 11 will be one more cricketing extravaganza.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)