Chris Morris became the foremost expensive stock the IPL auction history with Rajasthan Royals dispensing Rs 16.25 crore for the South Africa all-rounder whilst uncapped players like Karnataka’s K Gowtham also hogged the limelight with hefty deals here.
Spin bowling All-rounder Gowtham was bought for a record Rs 9.25 crore by the Chennai Super Kings. The 32-year-old is currently with the Indian team as a net bowler for the continued Test series against England.
Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan, named after the Bollywood superstar, expectedly got a handsome Rs 5.25 crore deal from Punjab Kings, quite 51 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh. Shahrukh has been within the limelight together with his exploits within the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Gowtham, an IPL regular who was released by Punjab Kings, was the second off-spinner CSK bought after England’s Moeen Ali. With the hefty tag , Gowtham became the foremost expensive uncapped stock IPL history. His base price was also Rs 20 lakh.
Morris’ big pay day came after another all-rounder and perennial under-performer, Australian Glenn Maxwell, once more managed to draw in a winning Rs 14.25 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Punjab Kings, who went into the auction with the utmost purse among eight teams, paid Rs 14 crore to rope in Australian pacer Jhye Richardson hoping he will plug the gap in their leaking bowling department.
The 24-year-old, who has played two Tests, 13 ODIs and nine T20Is for Australia, was the leading wicket-taker within the recent Big Bash League.
Punjab paid an enormous amount — Rs 8 crore — for an additional Australian pacer, the uncapped Riley Meredith. The 24-year-old has 43 wickets in 34 T20s that he has played.
Morris, who came with a base price of Rs 75 lakh, generated bids from four teams before it became a battle between Royals and Punjab Kings.
Royals eventually sealed it with a record bid which made Morris the most expensive patronize the auction ever, surpassing Yuvraj Singh, who was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 16 crore in 2015.
The costliest player within the IPL remains Virat Kohli, retained for Rs 17 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In 70 IPL games, Morris has scored 551 runs at 23.95 and brought 80 wickets at 23.98.
Talking about why Royals went all out on Morris, team COO Jake Luch McCrum said: “We actually spoke to Chris before the auction itself, and did a full medical review of him. He’s during a bubble in South Africa now, close to play the domestic competition.
“Chris is an ex -Royal, and he’s one among those players with experience and who can affect a tag like that. We’ve re-balanced the side this year, he will fill in a crucial role for us.