"I had never imagined that I would get into any of the franchises"
The top 11 most expensive players from the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction 2019 feature a few surprise names.
The auction for season 12 of the IPL took place in Jaipur, Rajasthan on December 18, 2018.
On an action-packed day, eight franchises bought sixty players, spending Rs 106.8 crores (£12 million) on new recruits.
Teams picked a mix of players, including young uncapped players. With the 2019 IPL possibly taking place outside of India, teams had to factor in conditions when selecting players.
Kings XI Punjab did lead the way when it came to buying the players.
From the sixty players sold, 20 were overseas cricketers. International cricketers who have been selected, include big-name players from England, South Africa and England.
There were also quite a few notable omissions who went unsold. Let’s take a more detail look at the top 11 most expensive buys:
Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarty has come up as a major trump card in the IPL auction 2019. Kings XI Punjab went for Chakravarty at a high price of 8.4 crores (£940,000).
To some, this will be a surprise move, with Chakravarthy having only 16 List A games to his name. His cricket story is quite interesting.
At the age of 13, he began playing cricket as a wicket-keeping batsman and pace bowler, before turning to spin following an injury.
Varun made a late entry to cricket as he has had a stop-start career. After playing school cricket, he went onto pursue higher education.
He made a return to cricket after working for two years at an architecture firm.
Coming from Tamil Nadu, Chakravarthy is a top pick probably for his mystery spin.
Apparently, he has a few variations up his sleeve. Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh went on Twitter to praise Varun, tweeting:
“Had a close look at him last year at CSK nets…This guy Varun Chakravarthy have the potential to play for INDIA..selectors should keep an eye on him.. he is a fast and furious spin bowler… another mystery spinner”
Everyone’s eye will be on Chakravarthy as and when he makes his T20 debut.
Jaydev Unadkat being the most expensive Indian player in 2017 is the joint most costly player in the IPL auction 2019. Rajasthan Royals opted for Unadkat, paying a whopping Rs 8.4 crores (£940,000).
This amount is quite surprising for many. The left-arm medium pace bowler born in Porbandar, Gujarat has mediocre figures from 2018. In 15 matches, he only got 11 wickets at a steep 9.65 runs per over.
But despite his poor record, he has a chance to redeem himself during the 12th edition of the IPL.
Since making his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (2010-2012, 2016), Jaydev has gone on to play for a number of teams. These include Royal Challengers Bangalore (2013), Delhi Daredevils (2014-2015) and Rising Pune Supergiants (2017).
Even though Unadkat is an IPL journeyman, it is obvious that franchises still faith in him. He told ESPNcricinfo that he aims to work hard, saying:
“I am going to work my pants off and do well, become as good a cricketer as I can be from here.”
As a left-arm pacer, it can be an advantage for Rajasthan, especially if the 2019 IPL moves to South Africa. And if the IPL remains in India, then he may just prod along as usual.
Most cricket experts did expect All-rounder Sam Curran of England to land a big deal. Kings XI Punjab secured Curran for Rs 7.2 crore (£800,000). Though even this is a big sum for a mini auction.
Sam did pull the third highest bid during the mini IPL auction.
Naturally, his biggest advantage is that he can bowl and bat – that too as a leftie. As a rising star, he has been a revelation for England since making his Test debut against Pakistan on June 1, 2018.
The most interesting factor here is that until this auction, Curran did not play a single T20 international. But the Punjab team clearly see the huge potential in him.
The team led by Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had to fight off interest from Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kings XI certainly have taken into account the form of Sam in red ball cricket and will hope he can bring it to the T20 format.
In 2018, Curran won the man of the series award following a 4-1 victory at home against India.
Sam can be extremely useful both in India or South Africa.
As Curran plays in the 2019 IPL, he will miss the first two months of county cricket for Surrey.
Dehli Capitals have spent Rs 6.4 crores (£715,000) for Colin Ingram. There was a lot of speculation about Ingram going for a high price, prior to the bidding process.
Colin is an expensive purchase at the mini auction, considering that he has only one IPl season to his name. He previously played for Delhi Daredevils during 2011-2012.
Ingram is a former South African opening batsman who plays country cricket on a non-overseas status under the Kolpak rule.
At the age of 33, his experience will be very crucial, especially if South Africa host the IPL.
Colin told TimesLIVE that he was “extremely chuffed’ about making a comeback to the IPL after more than six years. He said:
“I’m really happy to be returning to the IPL and Delhi again after many years‚ and it’s going to be great to play with the hype and buzz that is cricket in India.
“My family and I are thrilled at the news and I look forward to meeting up with the Delhi Capitals and getting my teeth into the exciting cricket that is IPL.”
The fact that Ingram plays regular T20 cricket can be very handy for the team representing the capital of India.
West Indies All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite moves to Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 5 crores (£562,470).
Kolkata already has the services of fellow West Indian All-rounder Andre Russell. Brathwaite is a good addition to the team based in the ‘City of Joy.’
Former Australian cricketer Brad Hodge feels Carlos will definitely add value to the team mentioning:
“I think with Carlos Brathwaite it is a bit like icing on the cake.”
“He can also bowl in the powerplay. He can whack them at the death. He’s pretty good in the field.
“He will compliment on Andre Russell nicely. And give Dinesh Karthik just an extra option that they did not quite have last year.”
Knight Riders will be his third IPl team, playing previously for Delhi Daredevils (2016-2017) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2018).
Playing for Hyderabad, he had a respectable bowling and batting average in 2018. Whilst Brathwaite can be hit and miss sometimes, one has to just remind themselves of his 2016 World T20 heroics.
Requiring 19 to win from the last over, the invincible Carlos smashed four consecutive 6s off Ben Stoke to take his side home.
Right-arm medium bowler Mohit Sharma returns to his former IPL team Chennai Super Kings after more than two years. The team from Chennai, Tamil Nadu have bought Sharma for Rs 5 crores (£562,470).
Sharma can also be useful in South African conditions where there will be some bounce and movement for the pace bowlers.
But if the 2019 IPL remains in India, buying Mohit may backfire terribly. With a bowling average of 46.00 in 2018, no wonder Kings XI Punjab let him go with ease.
In addition, with a low batting average, Sharma can be a liability for the Super Kings.
Mohit is happy to be back with Chennai under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. An emotional Sharma expressed his thoughts to Cricketnext:
“I cannot explain in words what it feels like going back to Chennai.”
Talking of Dhoni, he adds:
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not just like my elder brother, he is a father figure to me. If I tell you that on a cricketing field, he is the one who has taught me how to walk, it won’t be wrong.
Though Mohit does not bowl express pace, he will bank on his variations to outsmart the batsmen.
All-rounder Axar Patel is among the most expensive players from the IPL auction 2019. There had been a lot of talk about him before the auction was held.
For a fee of Rs 5 crores (£562,470), Delhi Capitals did secure the services of Patel. The team from the ‘City of Rallies’ had to offer a higher price than Kings XI Punjab to bag Axar.
Patel who primarily is a slow left-arm orthodox spinner did represent Punjab for five consecutive seasons.
Picking up 61 wickets for Kings XI, he has one 4-wicket haul to his name. The Anand born cricketer has hit 686 runs in the IPL, with 44 being his highest score.
With Axar expressing his gratitude to Kings XI on Twitter, the Punjab outfit did response with a positive tweet stating:
“We wish you a good luck! Rock the @DelhiCapitals squad, the same way you did with us!”
However, with a relatively bowling and batting average fans felt the price tag for Patel was not justified by his performances.
Axar will join forces with right-arm offspinner Hanuma Vihari at Delhi to strengthen their depth.
Virat Kohli’s team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) scoop Mumbai born Shivam Dube for Rs 5 crore (£562,470). Leading up to the auction, there was a strong belief that Dube would go for a high price.
The six feet tall Shivam and his family began celebrating when he got picked for RCB. Sharing how he was feeling at the time, Dube revealed:
“It was really tense at that time. My friends and my family were with me. Yes, there was some tension because I was in the reckoning for the last two years. And I did not get picked in both years.
“I have done well this year  and I was hoping that I went to a good team.”
Shivam is an All-rounder who can bowl right-arm medium pace and bat left-handed. Royal Challengers did put out a tweet describing and welcoming Shivam:
“Can clear the ropes with ease, provides crucial breakthroughs with his golden arm and comes in to strengthen our middle order! We’re thrilled to rope in Shivam Dubey to the RCB family.”
Dube is a quite a level-headed player who wants to consistently improve all facets of his game.
Fast-medium bowler Mohammed Shami is an expensive player with Kings XI Punjab buying him for Rs 4.8 crore (£540,601).
The reason for bagging him is that if the IPL is moved outside of India, then Shami could be very effective. Conditions like South Africa would be very suitable for Shami and the Punjab team.
When Shami bends his back a little the ball can unexpectedly hurry onto the batsman. Many will not think, but he is a zippy customer to deal with.
Though it has to be said that his T20 record is not as good in comparison to Test and One Day International (ODI) cricket.
Giving his opinion on Shami’s price, former Indian captain and head coach Anil Kumble expressed:
“That is a big buy for Kings XI Punjab, I thought they would have gone slightly higher up to Rs 6 crore, good for Shami and a good pick-up for Kings XI, well spent.”
Former Australian middle-order batsman David Hussey shared similar sentiments:
“He is one of the better fast forwards and they needed a fast forward for the team and they took it early.”
Kings XI is Shami’s third team after starting his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders (2012-2103), before heading to Delhi Daredevils (2014-2016) for a few years.
Again it is Kings Punjab XI who have bought Prabhsimran Singh into the fold, also at Rs 4.8 crores (£540,601). The 17-year old is a wicket-keeper from Patiala and seems to be a great find.
His inspiration is no other than former Australian wicket-keeper and dashing opening batsman Adam Gilchrist. He also looks up to former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag.
Singh made the headlines after smashing 298 off just 302 balls against Amritsar in an Under-23 district cricket competition.
During the Cooch Behar Trophy 2017-2018, he made 547 runs for Punjab that included 3 centuries.
Prabhsimran could not quite believe that he had been picked revealing:
“We all were glued to the television set. I was confident that bhaiya (Anmolpreet) will get a contract. But I had never imagined that I would get into any of the franchises with such a hefty price tag.”
Interestingly, his more experienced cousin Anmolpreet also got picked by Mumbai Indians, but for a lower price at Rs 80 lakhs (£90,104).
Prabhsimran Singh has all the hallmarks to be the next MS Dhoni.
Young West Indies top order batsman Shimron Hetmyer hit the jackpot as he was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 50 Lakhs (£56,324).
For a 21-year-old this is a very lucrative contract. For the second year in a row, Hetmyer has been named as ‘Cricketer of the Year’ at the annual Guyana Cricket Board Awards.
The left-handed batsman already has a hundred in the 2018 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.
Representing Guyana Amazon Warriors, he was the leading run scorer for his side during CPL 2018.
Averaging 40.00, he made 440 runs in the CPL T20 cricket event.
So there we have it, those were the 11 players who got big contracts, following the conclusion of the IPL auction 2019. They are a selection of players who were sold for a hefty price.
Fans naturally may be a little upset about some of the purchases.
There were also a number of big players who were unsold. They include the veteran Brendan McCullum (NZL), Chris Woakes (ENG) who is not available for the full season, an IPL out of form Corey Anderson (NZL) and injury prone Dale Steyn (RSA).
Hashim Amla (RSA), a big ticket player was surprisingly not bought too.
Lucke Ronchi who had a great PSL 2018, is another big omission. Perhaps in the case of these two, the overseas batsmen slots were filled.
Also, Alex Hales (ENG) may have not been selected due to his high base price of Rs 1.5 crore (£168,623). Reeza Hendricks (RSA who had a good 2018 Mzansi Super League was also not picked.
As always no players from Pakistan will participate in the 2019 IPL. In the tradition of the IPL.
With teams yet again spending a lot of money, the 2019 IPL should be a great spectacle.
Meanwhile, to check all the top buys for each team check here: