Memorable IPL Auction moments so far:
IPL in itself has brought many new elements in Indian life. Watching people go haywire with splurging money in crores on players as if it is monopoly currency has been another interesting aspect.
The IPL auction has always been an internet sensation. Its broadcast is watched as keenly as the IPL Final itself with millions live-tweeting and live-blogging the event. If you have missed out on it earlier, you have an opportunity tomorrow.
IPL auction for 2018 features 578 players to go under the hammer at Bengaluru on 27th & 28th January. 8 participating teams have saved a total of 18 players for themselves, they will look to build a fresh unit around this core.
Such an event often causes some masterstrokes and some strange decision too. Here is a look back at few memorable IPL Auction moments from the past
First ever IPL, first ever auction! Leading into it, six IPL franchises had their marquee players set. These were Indian legends that grew from that region, for example, Sachin was chosen by Mumbai. Only Chennai & Rajasthan had none.
MS Dhoni was the first major entry in the auction and obviously, there was an enormous craze for India’s T20 World Cup winning captain. Chennai already had their eyes set on this Super King and they brought him for a whopping 1.5 million dollars.
Since then the association has been set in stone. MS Dhoni’s popularity in Chennai has no parallels and captain cool has led CSK to two IPL trophies and two Champions league victories so far.
In 2009 IPL, Bangladesh’s 25-years old all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza became the first Bangladeshi player to play in the IPL. His selection caused much amusement since the price he was assigned was speculated to be bizarre.
Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders ensued in a bidding war to have the Bangladeshi player in their team. Finally, Mortaza was sold for 600000 dollars from a base price of only 50000 dollars to start with.
Mortaza, however, played only one match for Kolkata Knight Riders in the season and had disastrous results. In the match against Deccan Chargers, he bowled a spell 4-0-58-0 and gave away 21 runs in the last over of the match which led KKR to a defeat. Mortaza has never been chosen again.
In hindsight, it may turn out to be the most incredible moment of IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In 2011, IPL Auction sprang a surprise as no franchise put up a bid to buy the West Indian opener. Well, to be fair at that time no one expected him to be the ‘Universe boss’ he is today.
Gayle’s entry in IPL hall of fame was anything but a stroke of luck. RCB had their foreign bowler Dirk Nannes injured and they selected Chris Gayle as a replacement. The seminal decision changed World’s view of Chris Gayle forever.
Since then, Gayle has gone on to rake up T20 records which include the fastest T20 Century ever (30 balls) and most runs in a single over (37 runs). The trio of Gayle-ABD-Kohli still terrorizes bowlers.
While some region loves their cricket wholeheartedly but there is no comparison for Kolkata’s love for its prince Saurav Ganguly. City’s son led the Kolkata franchise for first three years of IPL; the results though were not encouraging.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ended at 6th, Last and 6th positions respectively and the franchise wanted changes. They took a hard decision that upset the city of Kolkata. KKR did not bid for Saurav Ganguly.
The decision created tension in Kolkata. There were protests launched against KKR and Shah Rukh Khan (Owner of KKR) accusing them of mistreating their local hero.
Ganguly was later picked up by a new franchise of Pune which had a Bengali owner. When Pune played against Kolkata at Eden Gardens, emotional tension between the fans was palpable. It only subsided when KKR went on to win IPL trophy in 2012.
After IPL 2013, Pune Warriors India team was dissolved due to financial issues and their players got added to the auction. Amongst them, one was India’s World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh. All teams had set their eyes on this marquee player.
Yet the price that Yuvraj Singh fetched in the IPL auction left everyone surprised for a player that was waning. The bidding war between KKR and RCB culminated in Yuvraj getting settled in Bangalore’s camp for 14 Crores, securing the record for the most expensive player in IPL auction history.
The season went well for Yuvraj. Next season, he was released by RCB to buy him back at a lesser price. Delhi Daredevils took the opportunity and bought him at an even higher price – 16 Crores.
2015 IPL season was dismal for Yuvraj though. A batting average of 19.07 at a strike rate 118.09 made Yuvraj a target of much ridicule. He later had decent performances with Sun Risers Hyderabad.
With 578 players going under the hammer, what surprises this IPL auction 2018 has in store will be interesting to see.
* Follow Omkar Mankame @Oam_16 on twitter