As the Indian Premier League (IPL) player auctions concluded, ₹551.7 crore was spent on the entire auction with 204 players auctioned total. Sixty seven players were international, while the remaining were from India. On day two in Bengaluru, batsman Ajinkya Rahane was the first cricketer to be bagged by team franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for ₹1 crore. But the bidding wars heated up with 23-year-old English batter Liam Livingstone who was grabbed for ₹11.5 crore by Punjab Kings.
The Tata Indian Premier League 2022 auction that concluded late on Sunday night as 10 franchise teams battled it out for top players on 12th and 13th Februrary. The top five players across two days to be auctioned were Ishan Kishan, Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, and Liam Livingstone.
Cricketer Jofra Archer, English pacer, tweeted an “eye popping” emoji as he was auctioned off for ₹8 crore to Mumbai Indians. Archer had listed his base price in the maximum slab of ₹2 crore.
On day two, Delhi Capitals bought West Indies batsman Rovman Powell for ₹2.8 crore. New team Lucknow Super Giants lost out to Mumbai Indians in a bid for Australia all-rounder Daniel Sams for ₹2.6 crore. Yash Dayal was acquired by Gujarat Titans for ₹3.2 crore. The Lucknow Super Giants is owned by Sanjiv Goenka, the chairperson of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, who returned to the Indian Premier League with this team and previously owned the Rising Pune Supergiants. The Ahmedabad team Gujarat Titans is owned by CVC Capital.
Joy Bhattacharjya, vice president at Baseline Ventures India, a sports marketing and brand licensing firm, said there were no surprises this year. All teams in the IPL are now following players in leagues around the world. So, a big buy could be prompted by analysts of these leagues sitting by the side of the IPL teams, he said. “On day two, Archer was the biggest surprise. We thought some team would definitely have ₹5-6 crore kept aside for him but ₹8 crore is a lot,” he said, adding, “this is also the evolution of a league that is paying ₹8 crore for a player who won’t even be playing the first season for them,” he said.
This year’s auction strategy is being driven by analysts and coaches who have experience with these players in other leagues and have played with them. “These “unknown players”, are not unknown to coaches. A lot of the coaches and analysts are working with other international leagues and so they know exactly what they want and the understanding of what they want is far more than it was maybe five or six years ago,” he said. Bhattacharjya is also the former team director of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
A total of 600 players were up for auction for 217 possible slots. The bidding wars were intense on day one when India’s Ishan Kishan, who is a wicket-keeper batsman, was the most expensive player sold. He was auctioned to Mumbai Indians for ₹15.25 crore. South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada was bought by Punjab Kings for ₹9.25 crore. He had listed himself at a base price of ₹2 crore. Shreyas Iyer went for ₹12.25 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders.
Lockie Ferguson was auctioned for ₹10 crore to Gujarat Titans. Harshal Patel and Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga were both auctioned to Royal Challengers Bangalore for ₹10.75 crore each. Shardul Thakur also went for ₹10.75 crore to Delhi Capitals as did West Indie’s Nicholas Pooran to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Virat Kohli was retained at ₹15 crore by RCB.
Bhattacharjya said Punjab Kings came in with a lot of money and he believes that they had an advantage. “Because to retain four players, the top teams have lost a lot of money. Also, the season is a long one with ten teams and it is not going to be easy. So it’s not like they could let go of their older players, but the price they paid to retain them is really hurting them. So teams that did retain players are in a way at a disadvantage,” he explained.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating starting the Tata IPL at the end of March. The board is also trying to hold the matches in India, in Mumbai and other Maharashtra cities though there is no confirmation on the venue yet.
Last year, the eight-team player auction concluded in Chennai with 57 players filling up 61 available slots for ₹145 crore, said league officials. The all-rounders were in most demand with Chris Morris who was sold to Rajasthan Royals for a sum of ₹16.25 crore and became the most expensive player bought in the IPL auction history. A total of 22 overseas players were bought at the auction.
Kyle Jamieson & Glenn Maxwell were both sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second highest sums of ₹15 crore and ₹14.25 crore respectively. K Gowtham & Moeen Ali were sold to Chennai Super Kings. Young hard-hitting batsman, Shahrukh Khan was sold to Punjab Kings while English all-rounder Tom Curran was bought by Delhi Capitals. They all featured in the Top 10 Buys at the auction.