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Record IPL deal for Morris

All-rounders and foreign fast bowlers fetched the big bucks at this year’s IPL players’ auction where South Africa’s Chris Morris clinched a record-breaking Rs 16.25 crore deal with Rajasthan Royals and uncapped Karnataka player Krishnappa Gowtham also invited a bank-breaking bid.

Morris became the most expensive buy in the IPL auction history with Rajasthan Royals shelling out big money for the all-rounder even as uncapped players such as Gowtham also hogged the limelight here on Thursday.

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 ongoing 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, more than 51 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh. Shahrukh has been in the limelight with his exploits in 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 price tag, Gowtham became the most expensive uncapped buy in IPL history. His base price was Rs 20 lakh.

Morris’ big pay day came after another all-rounder and perennial under-performer, Australian Glenn Maxwell, once again managed to attract a winning Rs 14.25 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore.

New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson, who is known more for his performances in Test cricket, secured a massive Rs 15 crore deal from the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Punjab Kings, who went into the auction with the maximum 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 in the recent Big Bash League.  Punjab paid a big amount — Rs 8 crore — for another Australian pacer, the uncapped Riley Meredith, making him the costliest uncapped foreign player in the IPL history.

The 24-year-old has 43 wickets in 34 T20s that he has played.

The last player to be sold at the auction was the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun, a fast bowler finding his feet at the domestic level for now. The 21-year-old was picked up by his father’s erstwhile franchise Mumbai Indians.

While the pacers raked in the moolah, Chennai Super Kings were applauded by other teams in the room for buying India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara for his base price of Rs 50 lakh, paving the way for his IPL return for the first time since 2014. 

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 sealed it with a record bid which made Morris the costliest buy at the auction ever, surpassing Yuvraj Singh, who was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 16 crore in 2015.

The costliest player in the IPL remains Virat Kohli, retained for Rs 17 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Friday, 19 February 2021 | PTI | Chennai

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