Livingstone top pick on day two of IPL auction

NEW DELHI : English batsman Liam Livingstone was snapped up for ₹11.5 crore by Punjab Kings in the most expensive purchase in Indian Premier League (IPL) player auctions, which started with Kolkata Knight Riders buying batsman Ajinkya Rahane for ₹1 crore.

The second day of the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 player auction concluded late on Sunday night, as 10 teams battled it out for the top players. The top five players to be auctioned were Ishan Kishan, Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer and Liam Livingstone.

English pacer Jofra Archer tweeted an “eye-popping” emoji as he was auctioned for ₹8 crore to Mumbai Indians. Archer had listed his base price in the maximum slab of ₹2 crore.

On Sunday, Delhi Capitals bought West Indies batsman Rovman Powell for ₹2.8 crore. New team Lucknow Super Giants lost to Mumbai Indians in a bid for Australia all-rounder Daniel Sams for ₹2.6 crore. Gujarat Titans acquired Yash Dayal for ₹3.2 crore. Lucknow Super Giants is owned by Sanjiv Goenka, 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.”

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, 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 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 10 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 is contemplating starting the Tata IPL at the end of March. It is also trying to hold the matches in India, in Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra though there is no confirmation on the venue yet.

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