IPL auction 2018: Bengaluru, usually just another Indian city, for most people barring techies of course, will turn into a temple for over 1000 cricketers across the globe on January 27, as Richard Madley will once again lift his hammer for IPL auction 2018, a platform where destinies of budding cricketers are decided and made. Over the years, we have seen franchises entering bidding wars in order to get the most desired players, making them richer in the process. Last year, Ben Stokes, purchased by the Rising Pune Supergiants, became the most expensive player at a whopping cost of Rs 14.5 crore. The Indian Premier League has been no less than a blessing for the Indian youngsters as well. Kings XI Punjab, splashed Rs 3 crore on fast-bowler T Natarajan, which was 30 times more than his base price. The list is long and impressive but, what the league has taught over the years is that the real winner is the one who is able to get hold of exceptional talent at a bargain price. Here, we have a look at 5 players who were bought for less than Rs 50 lakh but turned out to be worth gold:
1. Hardik Pandya (Rs 10 lakh to Mumbai Indians in 2015)
When Mumbai Indians had signed Hardik Pandya for just Rs 10 lakh in 2015, even they would not have any inkling about him turning out to be such a huge match-winner. Pandya rose to fame in his first IPL season, after smashing 61 runs off just 31 balls against KKR. It took him just 12 months to break into the Indian cricket team and he was retained this year by the same franchise for a whopping Rs 11 crore.
2. Shaun Marsh (Rs 12 lakh to Kings XI Punjab in 2008)
One of the few players to represented the same side in all the 10 seasons, Shaun Marsh who was a relatively unknown entity back then, was purchased by Kings XI Punjab in 2008 for just Rs 12 lakh. He emerged as tournament’s leading run-scorer, smashing 616 runs in 11 matches at an average of 68.44, including one century and five scores of fifty-plus.
3. Shane Watson (Rs 50 lakh to Rajasthan Royals in 2008)
Never in the history of the IPL auction, a player has turned out to be more precious than Shane Watson. The out of favour Australian all-rounder was purchased for Rs 50 lakh by the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season. He not only helped Royals to a title win but also emerged as the ‘Player of the Series’, scoring 472 runs and picking up 17 wickets.
4. Yuzvendra Chahal (Rs 10 lakh to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014)
ICC T20I performer of the year was a part of the Mumbai Indians team for three years but played only two matches for the franchise before he was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 at his base price of Rs 10 lakh. A change in the team led to a change in his fortunes. Chahal picked up 12 wickets in 2014 and was team’s highest wicket-taker in 2015 and 2016 claiming 23 and 21 wickets, respectively. The leg-spinner picked up another 14 wickets in 2017 and is now, the second-highest wicket-taker in the franchise’s history.
5. Mitchell McClenaghan (Rs 30 lakh to Mumbai Indians in 2015)
The importance of this player can be understood by the fact that Mumbai Indians played him ahead of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson in the last edition. The Kiwi repaid the faith shown by the team management by picking up 19 wickets in team’s title-winning campaign. He had claimed 18 wickets in 2015 and followed it with another good season, picking up 17 wickets in 2016.