IPL Mega Auction 2022: Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Eoin Morgan — Top players who remained unsold

The two-day mega auction — the first since 2018 — was peppered with intense bidding rounds, record fees, and an unfortunate medical emergency.

IPL Auction Unsold Players
The 10 franchises spent a combined Rs 551.70 crore on 204 players. (IE/PTI/Reuters/BCCI)

The two-day Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction was the first mega player draft in three years and all 10 teams, including the two newcomers, were ready with the proverbial bags of cash to build a strong squad for the upcoming three-year cycle. The mega auction was peppered with intense bidding rounds, record fees, and an unfortunate medical emergency that saw legendary presenter Charu Sharma step in as auctioneer.

The Mumbai Indians paid a whopping Rs 15.25 crore to make Ishan Kishan the second-most expensive Indian in IPL auction history, while Avesh Khan became the most-expensive uncapped player at the auctions following his Rs 10-crore sale to the Lucknow Super Giants.

The 10 franchises spent a combined Rs 551.70 crore on 204 players. Now, as the dust settles on the IPL 2022 Mega Auction that saw records tumble left, right, and centre, several big-name players will go back to their lives with the disappointment of not being able to find a team.

Also Read | IPL Mega Auction 2022: Under-19 World Cup trio make bank, Punjab Kings pay Rs 2 crore Raj Angad Bawa

FE Online takes a look at some big names that missed out.

Suresh Raina (Base price: Rs 2 crore)

Mr IPL, Raina was released by the Chennai Super Kings at the end of last season after the team opted to retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The left-handed batter is fourth in the list of all-time run-getters in IPL history with 5,528 runs from 205 matches at an average of 32.51.

The 35-year-old may still have a few years left in him, especially after he retired from international cricket. However, the Rs 2-crore base price spooked the franchises. His struggles in 2021, when he scored just 160 runs in 12 matches also played a part in him not getting a bid.

Aaron Finch (Base price: Rs 1.50 crore)

Australia’s white-ball skipper has had a journeyman career in the IPL, playing for eight teams, but never managed to find the consistency to settle anywhere. In his last season in the IPL, he scored 268 runs in 12 matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but was released ahead of the 2021 auction where he also went unsold. His patchy form in the just-concluded Big Bash League in Australia may have also played a part in the franchises’ reluctance to go for him.

Shakib Al Hasan (Base price: Rs 2 crore)

The Bangladesh star is the top all-rounder in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI rankings and second in the T20I list. Despite his prowess as an all-rounder, he found no takers as a poor 2021 season went against him. The southpaw scored 47 runs in eight innings, while taking four wickets, for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Steve Smith (Base price: Rs 2 crore)

The former Australia captain also fell victim to an inconsistent 2021 season when he scored 152 runs in eight matches and a strike rate of 112.59 for the Delhi Capitals. While his overall experience could have been useful, his price tag proved prohibitive as he went unsold.

Adil Rasheed (Base price: Rs 2 crore)

The England leg spinner is third in the ICC’s list of T20I players, and among the top bowlers in white-ball cricket. However, those figures turned out to be inconsequential as franchises decided to give him a miss.

Ben Cutting (Base price: Rs 75 lakh)

A veteran of the franchise T20, the Aussie all-rounder had played for the Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Mumbai Indians. He was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 auction, but didn’t get a match. The 35-year-old, however, is a tried-and-tested option on subcontinent wickets, having played for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League last season and this season for the Peshawar Zalmi.

Imran Tahir (Base price: Rs 2 crore)

At 42, the South African spinner’s Rs 2 crore base price proved prohibitive. Tahir was in the Chennai Super Kings squad last season, but played only once, taking two wickets at an economy rate of 4.

Dawid Malan (Base price: Rs 1.50 crore)

The Englishman has had a steady decline in recent years. Despite being fifth in ICC’s T20I batting list, he has failed to live up to his standards. He was part of the Punjab Kings line-up last season but played one match, scoring 26 runs.

Eoin Morgan (Base price: Rs 1.50 crore)

While Morgan going unsold may not come as a surprise for any Kolkata Knight Riders fan, the England white-ball captain remains one of the premier T20 players and a good captaincy option after leading the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise to the final in 2021.

The southpaw scored 133 runs in 17 matches at an average of 11.08. His struggles, in all probability, went against him as teams decided against taking a punt on him despite his leadership skills.

Chris Lynn (Base price: Rs 1.50 crore)

One of T20 cricket’s most brutal hitters, Lynn has failed to replicate his exploits in the Big Bash League with the Brisbane Heat in three IPL stints with the now-defunct Deccan Charger, the Kolkata Knights Riders, and the Mumbai Indians. The Paltan signed him for his base price of Rs 2 crore in 2021 but he played one match, scoring 49 runs at a strike-rate of 140.

Marnus Labuschagne (Base price: Rs 1 crore)

Among the premier batters in world cricket, Marnus would have been a steal for any franchise at his base price. However, his status as a Test-match specialist probably went against him as he went unsold in his first-ever IPL auction.

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Ben McDermott (Base price: Rs 50 lakh)

Another Aussie top-order star who went unsold, the wicketkeeper-batter was the star of the just-concluded Big Bash League as he led the unfancied Hobart Hurricanes to the playoffs. He also became the first batter to score consecutive centuries in the Big Bash League and also the only player to score three tons in a single season as he won the Player of the Series award. However, despite a low base price in an auction that saw another wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan going for Rs 15.25 crore, McDermott remained unsold.

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First published on: 14-02-2022 at 19:18 IST