Yuvraj Singh set a new record as he emerged as the costliest-ever buy in the Indian Premier League by going for a whopping Rs 16 crore to Delhi Daredevils in the eighth players' auction in Bangalore on Monday.
In a relatively low-key auction, the 33-year-old former India all-rounder triggered an unexpected bidding war as four teams vied for his services before Delhi clinched the deal for a record price.
That Yuvraj, who had been bought for Rs 14 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, went for such a huge price came as a surprise given the fact that he is no longer in the Indian team. However, his current good form could have led to the franchises showing interest in him.
Initially, there was a four-way bidding among Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils to buy India's 2011 World Cup hero in the auction conducted by Richard Madley. But once the bidding reached Rs 7 crore, Royals and Kings quit, leaving Delhi and Bangalore in the fray.
"I think we learned from last year, and that if we want a player we need to push hard for him. Hence, we were prepared to go all the way with Yuvraj and it's great for the player as well," Delhi coach Gary Kirsten said, justifying the record bid for Yuvraj.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was another player who commanded a massive price, going to RCB for Rs 10.50 crore the glitzy auction, attended by business bigwigs, Bollywood stars, like Preity Zinta and former cricketers Anil Kumble, Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming and VVS Laxman, all part of various teams' support staff.
Delhi Daredevils, who had the largest purse of Rs 39.75 crore among all the eight franchises taking part in the auction, also bought Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews for Rs 7.5 crore, the third highest price in the first two rounds of auction.
New Zealand pacer Trent Boult (Rs 3.80 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra (Rs 3.50 crore to Delhi Daredevils) and Australian opener Aaron Finch (Rs 3.20 crore to Mumbai Indians) were among the others who fetched a good price.
Little-known K C Cariappa was a surprise pick. The 20-year-old off-spinner who hasn’t even played a first-class match, was grabbed by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 2.40 crore in what was perhaps the most shocking buy.
Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore revealed the secret behind signing the young mystery spinner.
"We had him with us during the Champions League in the nets. And some of the legendary players like Jacques Kallis found him to be good and we said let's give him a shot. We were fortunate that we were in a position to take a punt and it happened. So, for him, he has got an opportunity, let's see how he does."
Sri Lankan stalwarts Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, South African batsman Hashim Amla and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor went unsold.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost to Delhi Daredevils in their bid to get Yuvraj and Mathews, bought Karthik for the second highest price, even though it was Rs 1.5 crore lower than the amount Delhi Daredevils bought him for last year.
Surprisingly, former England captain Kevin Pietersen, who was bought for Rs 9 crore last year by Delhi, could get just Rs 2 crore as he was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the base price.
Other players sold in the auction were India Test opener Murali Vijay for Rs 3 crore (to KXIP), England's Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.5 crore by SRH) and New Zealand's Kane Williamson (Rs 60 lakh by SRH).
New Zealand fast bowler Boult fetched an impressive sum of Rs 3.8 crore from his base price of Rs 50 lakh as he was bought by SRH, who joined in after initial bidding between RCB and Mumbai Indians.
There was also intense bidding for Indian pacer Praveen Kumar, who was bought by Sunrisers for Rs 2.20 crore. SRH also strengthened their squad by buying England all-rounder Ravi Bopara for Rs one crore.
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan also had good fortune going his way as Delhi Daredevils picked him for Rs four crore, topping Mumbai Indians' bid for Rs 3.8 crore.
Two other all-rounders in West Indian Darren Sammy and South African David Wiese went to RCB for an identical Rs 2.80 crore. The franchise also bought young Australian pacer Sean Abbott for Rs 1 crore.
Veteran Australian Michael Hussey returned to Chennai Super Kings at his base price of Rs 1.5 crore.
Indian-origin Australian pacer Gurinder Sandhu, who has played just two ODIs so far, was a surprise pick for Rs 1.7 crore by big spenders Delhi Daredevils, who also bought pacer Jaydev Unadkat for Rs 1.1 crore.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha returned to Mumbai Indians for Rs 50 lakh.
Besides Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals were the other franchises who did not spend much in the auction.
Rajasthan Royals bought South African all-rounder Christopher Morris for Rs 1.4 crore.
Among the prominent Indian players, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pankaj Singh and Munaf Patel could not find any takers, like Brad Hodge, Alex Hales, Cameron White, Luke Ronchi, and Marlon Samuels, among the foreign players.
Players sold in the IPL8 auction in Bangaluru on Monday.
(Price in rupees)
Chennai Super Kings
Michael Hussey (batsman) Rs 1,50,00,000
Irfan Pathan (all-rounder) 1,50,00,000
Rahul Sharma (bowler) 30,00,000
Kyle Abbott (bowler) 30,00,000
Andrew Tye (bowler) 20,00,000
Pratyush Singh (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Ankush Bains (wicketkeeper) 10,00,000
Eklavya Dwivedi (wicketkeeper) 10,00,000
Yuvraj Singh (batsman) 16,00,00,000
Angelo Mathews (all-rounder) 7,50,00,000
Zaheer Khan (bowler) 4,00,00,000
Amit Mishra (bowler) 3,50,00,000
Shreyas Iyer (batsman) 2,60,00,000
Gurinder Sandhu (bowler) 1,70,00,000
Jaydev Unadkat (bowler) 1,10,00,000
Domnic Joseph (bowler) 75,00,000
Albie Morkel (all-rounder) 30,00,000
Travis Head (batsman) 30,00,000
Marcus Stoinis (all-rounder) 25,00,000
CM Gautam (wicketkeeper) 20,00,000
Kona Srikar Bharat (wicketkeeper) 10,00,000
KK Jiyaz (bowler) 10,00,000
Kings XI Punjab
Murali Vijay (batsman) 3,00,00,000
Nikhil Shankar Naik (wicketkeeper) 30,00,000
Yogesh Gowalkar (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Kolkata Knight Riders
K C Cariappa (bowler) 2,40,00,000
James Neesham (all-rounder) 50,00,000
Brad Hogg (bowler) 50,00,000
Aditya Garhwal (all-rounder) 25,00,000
Sheldon Jackson (batsman) 15,00,000
Sumit Narwal (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Vaibhav Rawal (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Aaron Finch (batsman) 3,20,00,000
Pragyan Ojha (bowler) 50,00,000
Abhimanyu Mithun (bowler) 30,00,000
Mitchell McClenaghan (bowler) 30,00,000
Aiden Blizzard (batsman) 30,00,000
Hardik Pandya (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Akshay Wakhare (bowler) 10,00,000
Nitish Rana (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Siddhesh Dinesh Lad (all-rounder) 10,00,000
J Suchitch (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Christopher Morris (all-rounder) 1,40,00,000
Juan Theron (bowler) 30,00,000
Barinder Singh Saran (bowler) 10,00,000
Dinesh Salunkhe (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Sagar Trivedi (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Pardeep Sahu (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper) 10,50,00,000
Darren Sammy (all-rounder) 2,80,00,000
David Wiese (all-rounder) 2,80,00,000
Sean Abbott (bowler) 1,00,00,000
Adam Milne (bowler) 70,00,000
Sarfaraz Naushad Khan (batsman) 50,00,000
Subramaniam Badrinath (batsman) 30,00,000
Jalaj Saxena (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Shshir Bhavane (batsman) 10,00,000
Trent Boult (bowler) 3,80,00,000
Praveen Kumar (bowler) 2,20,00,000
Kevin Pietersen (batsman) 2,00,00,000
Eoin Morgan (batsman) 1,50,00,000
Ravi Bopara (all-rounder) 1,00,00,000
Kane Williamson (all-rounder) 60,00,000
Laxmi Ratan Shukla (all-rounder) 30,00,000
Prasanth Padmanabhan (all-rounder) 10,00,000
Hanuma Vihari (batsman) 10,00,000
Siddarth Kaul (bowler) 10,00,000.