Bullish IPL teams make record spends at 2021 player auctions

After a successful 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – played during COVID-19 times and outside India – all eyes were on the player auctions for the 14th edition. The IPL franchises were bullish on player acquisition as could be seen from the amounts shelled out for the top rung players.

Rajasthan Royals picked up South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore, which is the most expensive player acquisition in the entire IPL history. Morris had attracted quite a few bidders in Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, Rajasthan Royals, who came in quite late into the bidding, bagged him eventually for the highest price an overseas player had earned in the IPL, overtaking Pat Cummins from the previous season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore snagged two overseas players who were the 2nd and 3rd most expensive buys at IPL 2021. New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson was acquired for Rs 15 crore, while Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was acquired for Rs 14.25 crore.

Punjab Kings also came armed with a big budget. The IPL franchise brought onboard 9 new players, including Australia bowler Jhye Richardson for Rs 14 crore, the 4th most expensive buy for the 14th season of IPL.

Also making it to the crore-club were:

Krishnappa Gowtham – acquired by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 9.25 crore

Riley Meredith – acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore

Moeen Ali – acquired by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 7 crore

Shahrukh Khan – acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 5.25 crore

Dan Christian – acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 4.80 crore

Shivam Dube – acquired by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 4.40 crore

Moises Henriques – acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 4.20 crore

Shakib Al Hasan – acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 3.20 crore

Piyush Chawla – acquired by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.40 crore

Steven Smith – acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.20 crore

Harbhajan Singh – acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 2 crore

Sam Billings – acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2 crore

Kedar Jadhav – acquired by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 2 crore

Dawid Malan – acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 1.5 crore

Mujeeb Zadran – acquired by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.5 crore

Chetan Sakariya – acquired by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.2 crore

Umesh Yadav - – acquired by Delhi Capitals Rs 1 crore

Mustafizur Rahman – acquired by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1 crore

Mumbai Indians had an interesting acquisition in all-rounder Arjun Tendulkar, son of Sachin Tendulkar, who will be making his IPL debut this year. The young cricketer went for Rs 20 lakh. 

In all, there were 292 cricketers for the shortened auctions, of which 164 were Indians and 125 were overseas players.

IPL 2021 will have 8 teams. The much talked about addition of two more franchise teams has been pushed back for next year due the pandemic as there was very little time to get the two new teams ready. While most of the teams have retained their best and performing players, with this auction some major and minor additions have been made to get a well-balanced team.

Meanwhile, regarding the title sponsor for IPL 2021, while the logo doesn’t mention the sponsor yet, but as per media reports, in his opening address at the auction event, Brijesh Patel had announced Vivo’s return as the title sponsor.

As is known, Vivo, a Chinese mobile brand, had to step down as the title sponsor of IPL in 2020 amid the strong anti-China sentiments following the Galwan clash and subsequent Chinese incursions into Indian soil. Dream11 had replaced Vivo as the title sponsor for IPL 2020. Vivo had won the title sponsorship rights for a period of five years – 2017-2022.

With the industry looking for revival and given the viewer and advertiser interest in IPL 2020 despite the COVID-19 crisis, the tournament this year is looking for even greater participation of brands. Advertiser interest in cricket is high, especially after India’s successful tour of Australia and the ongoing India-England series being played on homeground. While it is still early days, ad revenues are also expected to be in the high range.


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