Sunday, 28 January 2018 - 21:18
IPL auction : Kings XI buys Gayle, no takers for Malinga


Twice Chris Gayle's name came up at the IPL auction, and twice he failed to get a bid.

Just when it seemed like the highest-profile overseas player of the league over its first decade would not be part of the 2018 edition, Kings XI Punjab picked him up, triggering loud applause from all the other franchises in the room.

Kings XI got Gayle at his base price, a mere INR 2 crore (USD 312,000 approx).

Other high-profile players who benefited from a second chance were India opener M Vijay (INR 2 crore to Chennai Super Kings), wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel (INR 1.7 crore or USD 265,000 approx to Royal Challengers Bangalore), and Australia quick Mitchell Johnson (INR 2 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders), all of whom were bought when they were recalled on the second afternoon after going unsold the first time around.

As per the regulations, any player who went unsold the first time - or second, as in Gayle's case - could be called up again, provided any of the franchises put in a request for the same.

Though there have been 10 seasons of the IPL, it continues to keep throwing up firsts.

Today that came in the form of Sandeep Lamichhane, the first player from Nepal to be picked in the auction.

The 17-year old legspinner, who has played grade cricket in Sydney alongside former Australia captain Michael Clarke, was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for his base price of INR 20 lakh (USD 31000 approx).

Head coach Ricky Ponting said: "The Delhi boys flew him out and saw him bowling in the nets, he was pretty impressive, he might not be ready to play yet but they saw a lot of talent there it's only of those speculative bids, see if he can turn into a world class bowler in a few years."

Last year, two Afghanistan players were picked up at the auction.

This time that doubled to four: experienced allrounder Mohammad Nabi (Sunrisers for INR 1 crore or USD 156,000 approx) and Under-19 players - both of whom are at the ongoing World Cup in New Zealand - Mujeeb Zadran and Zahir Khan got bids, in addition to Rashid Khan from day one.

Sixteen-year-old Zadran, who can bowl traditional offspin and mix it up with legspin when required, was picked up by Kings XI after some extensive bidding for INR 4 crore (USD 625,000 approx).

Zahir is a left-arm wristspinner who went to Royals for INR 60 lakh (USD 93,000 approx).

It was Royals who opened the bidding overall on a day when in effect 471 new players were up for grabs, plus any of the unsold players from day one.

On day one, 78 out of 110 players were bought, with superstars from IPLs past like Lasith Malinga finding no takers.

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