The South Africa allrounder became the most expensive overseas player at the auction
(Conversion rates as follows: USD 1 = INR 73 approx; INR 50 lakh = USD 68,000 approx; INR 1 crore = USD 137,000 approx; INR 10 crore = USD 1,370,000 approx)
Allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris became the first two multi-million dollar signings of the 2021 auction, being signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals, respectively.
Purchased for Rs 16.25 crore ($2.2 million) – a record high among overseas players – Morris was at the centre of a fierce bidding war involving four different teams, with the Royals eventually beating out Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings to sign the South African. Morris had previously played for the Royals during the 2015 season and was the team’s joint-highest wicket-taker that year with 13 scalps.
Maxwell, the Australia allrounder, was meanwhile snapped up by the Royal Challengers for Rs 14.25 crore ($1.95 million). Bidding for Maxwell began at his base price Rs 2 crore and quickly spiralled, with the Royals, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders also fighting for his signature.
The Knight Riders and Royals began the initial tussle, before the Royal Challengers swooped in with an offer of Rs 4 crore. Soon, the Super Kings also threw their bid into the hat, going as far as Rs 14 crore before bowing out. Maxwell had spent seven seasons with the Punjab Kings, scoring 1383 runs at a strike rate of 157.69, and helped the team reach the final in 2014.
The Royal Challengers also came close to bagging Maxwell’s Australian team-mate Steven Smith at his base price of Rs 2 crore, but were eventually beaten out by Delhi Capitals, who signed him for Rs 2.2 crore.
Having missed out on Maxwell, the Super Kings did eventually manage to get another allrounder, fighting off bids from Punjab Kings to land England’s Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore. Punjab Kings also tried to get Shakib Al Hasan for Rs 2.6 crore, but Bangladesh’s premier allrounder was eventually sold for Rs 3.2 crore to his former team at the Knight Riders, with who he won the title in both 2012 as well as 2014.
Punjab Kings finally made their first buy of the auction by signing England opener and the top-ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan for his base price of Rs 1.5 crore.
Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube was the only Indian sold from the first batch of players at the auction, the Royals bagging his services for Rs 4.4 crore.