JAIPUR — Unheralded architect-turned-cricketer Varun Chakravarthy Tuesday fetched a sensational bid of Rs 8.4 crore, more than 40 times his base price, but veteran Yuvraj Singh went unsold in an IPL players’ auction that had an unmissable Caribbean flavour to it.
Chakravarthy, with a base price of Rs 20 lakh, went to Kings XI Punjab after a bidding war that also involved Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
KXIP also spent big on England all-rounder Sam Curran, buying him for Rs 7.2 crore.
Medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat became a millionaire once again with a Rs 8.4 crore bid from Rajasthan Royals but the spotlight was firmly on Chakravarthy, the 27-year-old mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu who gave up a career as freelance architect to pursue cricket.
“We always knew that we will break the wall for him,” said KXIP CEO Satish Menon.
Chakravarthy has risen to prominence owing to a strong showing in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. He has been widely credited for Madurai Panthers maiden TNPL title win this year.
Unadkat, on the other hand, is back in the RR fold after being released at the end of the 2018 season. He had been bought for Rs 11.5 crore by RR earlier this year. On Tuesday, the Royals lapped him up him after a bidding battle with KXI, CSK and Delhi Capitals.
Capped Indian players were in demand and so were the West Indians before a 15-minute tea break at the auction.
However, there were no takers for 37-year-old Yuvraj, who was a sought after player in the IPL for a long time and during his prime, attracted a Rs 16 crore bid.
He entered into the auction with a base price of Rs one crore and could still find a buyer later in the auction if he is among the unsold players brought back into the pool by the franchises.
Yuvraj going unsold was not particularly surprising as he endured a lean run in the 2018 edition after KXIP bought him at a base price of Rs two crore before releasing him in November.
Besides the capped Indians, the West Indians too were in demand with Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran bagging hefty deals in the first round of bidding.
Spinner Axar Patel (Rs five crore), pacer Mohit Sharma (Rs five crore) and Mohammad Shami (Rs 4.8 crore) were the other names to fetch big bids.
Patel, who made his name at KXIP, was bought by Delhi Capitals after a bidding battle with the Punjab franchise.
Shami, who turned up for Delhi last season, was sold to KXIP while Mohit went back to Chennai Super Kings after a stint with KXIP.
Royal Challengers Bangalore paid Rs 4.2 crore for Hetmyer. Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals also bid for the stylish West Indian batsman, who had a base price of Rs 50 lakh.
His teammate Brathwaite, the star of 2016 World T20, was sold to KKR for Rs five crore after a bidding war between the Dinesh Karthik-led side and Kings XI Punjab.
The all-rounder had entered the auction with a base price of Rs 75.
Another West Indian to get an attractive deal was wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran. The 23-year-old, who came with a base price of Rs 75 lakh, went for Rs 4.20 crore to KXIP. He is a T20 find and is yet to play Test cricket.
Indian Test player Hanuma Vihari was sold to Delhi Capitals for Rs two crore, four times his base price.
Pacer Ishant Sharma, who had a base price of Rs 75 lakh, went to Delhi Capitals for Rs 1.1 crore while wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was bought back by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.2 crore.
The high-profile unsold players were Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum and Chris Woakes.