Unknown rookies bought for crores while biggies remained unsold – IPL 10 will best be remembered for creating history and throwing up big surprises. True to its character, the IPL auction yet again made ‘the ordinary look great and the great look ordinary’.

Ironically, this time around, it was the bowlers that stole the show, unlike the true character of the extravagant league where batsmen usually steal the show. Pacers were the cynosure of all eyes with franchisees leaving no stone unturned in bidding for them aggressively.

And the biggest surprise of all came in the form of Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan sold for a staggering Rs 4 crore. Fellow all rounder Mohammad Nabi was sold for Rs 30 lakh. Rashid and Nabi became the first Afghan players to have sold in an IPL auction.

English cricketers Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills stole the show at the auction by becoming highest-paid players of this season. While, Stokes was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.5 crores, Mills went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 12 crores.

Among the Indian players Karn Sharma earned the highest bid of Rs 3.2 crores and was roped in by Mumbai Indians. Tamil Nadu’s T Natrajan was another big buy of the season and went to KXIP for Rs 3 crores.

The auction was full of surprises as many big Indian and international names failed to find any takers. To the shock of many, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pragyan Ojha and Irfan Pathan remained unsold along with the likes of South African Imran Tahir, world number one in T20 ICC rankings, and West Indian stars Marlin Samuels and Darren Bravo.

Overall, the English players clearly dominated the proceedings right from the word go accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the total auction money shelled out by the franchisees in this edition of the IPL.

With a maximum limit of 76 players who could be bought among over 350 in the fray, franchisees’ strategy was to go for all-rounders and fast bowlers instead of batsmen, utility players in place of big players and trusting those who will be actually available for the full period of IPL season 10.

The tempo of the auction rose with the as the all-rounders started to go under the hammer. England all-rounder Ben Stokes lit up the atmosphere living up to his billing as top draw bagging a whopping Rs 14.5 crore which remained the maximum bid price for any player this edition.

With none of the BCCI bigwigs able to attend the auction, the franchises felt more relaxed and free to grab their piece of cake (players) clearly under no pressure to adjust current Indian players like Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Like previous auctions, market dynamics, diligence and economic sense prevailed over star value, records and history.

This is the last auction of the 10-year IPL cycle, post which all players will be back in a common pool up for auction.

First Published | 20 February 2017 5:16 PM
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