The players' auction for the 2021 Indian Premier League was a big hit.
While many expected the franchises to be thrifty in these gloomy economic times, most of them went all out to snap up players from around the world even though it was a mini-auction.
Chris Morris emerged the most expensive purchase at Thursday's IPL auction, bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 16.25 crore (Rs 162.5 million).
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell continued to be in demand as he moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore from Kings XI Punjab for Rs 14.25 crore (Rs 142.5 million).
RCB also made the surprise choice to spend a massive Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) on Kiwi pacer Kyle Jamieson, who is yet to prove himself in T20 cricket.
Among the Indians, off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham bagged the highest bid, going to CSK for Rs 9.25 crore (Rs 92.5 million), while Tamil Nadu all-rounder Shahrukh Khan was bought by Punjab Kings for Rs 5.25 crore (Rs 52.5 million).
A look at the top 10 purchases at the IPL auction:
Chris Morris sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 16.25 crore
Chris Morris hit the jackpot to become the most expensive buy in IPL auction history.
The South African all-rounder, who started with a base price of Rs 75 lakh (Rs 7.5 million), attracted strong interest from four teams before it became a two-way, intense, battle between Royals and Punjab Kings (earlier Kings XI Punjab).
Royals eventually sealed it with a record bid, which made Morris the costliest buy at an IPL auction ever, surpassing Yuvraj Singh, who was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 16 crore (Rs 160 million) in 2015.
Morris is one of the most consistent performers in the IPL -- with a tally of 551 runs at 23.95 and has taken 80 wickets at 23.98 in 70 IPL games. He was purchased for Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) last season by Royal Challengers Bangalore, who opted to release him ahead of this year's auction.
Kyle Jamieson sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 15 crore
New Zealand's lanky pacer Kyle Jamieson was another hot property at the IPL auction.
Jamieson made a name for himself in Test cricket following an impressive debut against India last year.
However, he is yet to convince in T20 cricket, having picked up 54 wickets in 38 games with an economy rate of 7.98. RCB seemed desperate to add a pace bowler of repute to their ranks.
Jamieson recently took five wickets in as many games for Auckland, at an economy rate of more than eight, in New Zealand's Super Smash T20 tournament.
His reputation as a big hitter who can contribute with the bat lower down the order made him a sought-after player in the auction.
Glenn Maxwell sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 14.25 crore
The Virat Kohli-led RCB also splurged the cash on Glenn Maxwell, despite the Australian all-rounder putting in a below-par performance in the IPL last year.
Playing for Kings XI Punjab, Maxwell scored just 108 runs in 13 games, at a strike rate of 101, without a single six in 106 balls faced in IPL 2020.
Overall, Maxwell has scored 1,505 runs in 82 IPL games, at an average of 22, with six half-centuries.
RCB were looking for a lower order finisher who could take the game away from the opposition and also take some burden off Kohli and A B de Villiers's shoulders.
Jhye Richardson sold to Punjab Kings for Rs 14 crore
Australia fast bowler Jhye Richardson was bought by Punjab Kings as the franchise looked to achieve their target of bringing in fast bowlers.
Richardson became hot property after he finished as the top wicket-taker in the Australian Big Bash League 2020-2021 season with 29 wickets in 17 games, at an economy rate of 7.6.
The 24 year old has played two Tests, 13 ODIs and nine T20Is for Australia.
His most notable performances at the international level came against India in the ODI series against India in January 2019 when he dismissed Virat Kohli thrice.
Krishnappa Gowtham sold to Chennai Super Kings for Rs 9.25 crore
Krishnappa Gowtham was bought by Chennai Super Kings for a record Rs 9.25 crore (Rs 92.5 million) -- the highest-ever paid for an uncapped player in IPL history.
The Karnataka off-spinner, 32, was bought by CSK, who didn't show any interest in veteran Harbhajan Singh at the auction after they had released him.
It was a memorable day for Gowtham, who started with a base price of Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million), after being released by Kings XI Punjab.
He was earlier bought for Rs 6.2 crore (Rs 62 million) by Rajasthan Royals in 2018 and he repaid the trust by delivering with both bat and ball. He played some crucial knocks to help Royals chase down targets and qualify for the play-offs that year.
Riley Meredith sold to Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore
Punjab Kings also broke the bank on uncapped Australian pace bowler Riley Meredith after he was bought for Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million).
That is the highest amount for any uncapped foreign player in IPL history.
Overall, the 24 year old has taken 43 wickets in 34 games, but has an economy rate in excess of eight.
Moeen Ali sold to Chennai Super Kings for Rs 7 crore
England all-rounder Moeen Ali was the second off-spinner to be bought by CSK at the auction.
Moeen's explosive batting in the second innings of the second Test against India in Chennai may have tilted the scales in his favour.
He took eight wickets in the match, but his entertaining 43 from 18 balls in a losing cause could have caught the attention of the CSK team management.
Moeen played for RCB last IPL season, but featured in just three games taking one wicket and scoring 12 runs.
Shahrukh Khan sold to Punjab Kings for Rs 5.25 crore
Shahrukh Khan was a name floating around even before the IPL auction had begun. It was not only for him sharing a name with the Bollywood superstar, but also his power-packed performances with the bat for Tamil Nadu in domestic T20 games.
The 25-year-old all-rounder smashed 49 from 17 balls against Himachal Pradesh and then hit a 7-ball 18 in the final to help Tamil Nadu beat Baroda and win the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
Shahrukh -- who was named by his mother's cousin, a huge SRK fan -- is, not unsurprisingly for a Tamilian, a Rajinikanth fan.
KKR, who had SRK's son Aryan Khan at the auction, didn't show interest in Shahrukh. Instead, Preity Zinta seemed delighted at securing his services.
Tom Curran sold to Delhi Capitals for Rs 5.25 crore
England pacer Tom Curran became the highest purchase for Delhi Capitals in the auction as he was bought for Rs 5.25 crore (Rs 52.5 million).
Curran played for Rajasthan Royals last season after being bought for Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million). He took nine wickets in 10 games but went for over 11 runs per over.
At the international level, Curran has gone for over nine per over in 27 T20 Internationals while taking 26 wickets.
Nathan Coulter-Nile sold to Mumbai Indians for Rs 5 crore
Nathan Coulter-Nile was released by Mumbai Indians, but they bagged him again at the auction for Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million), much lesser than the Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million)_ they paid for him last year.
In seven games last year, Coulter-Nile took five wickets, but he made an important contribution in the all-important final against Delhi Capitals, taking 2/29 in four overs, including the key wicket of Rishabh Pant (56).
Overall, he has taken 41 wickets in 33 IPL games at an economy rate of 7.71.
Photographs: BCCI, Getty Images