The highly anticipated IPL Auction 2018 is finally over and during this two-day extravaganza, eight franchises were under the same roof and fought to assemble their respective squads for the upcoming 11th edition of the Indian Premier League.

It was indeed an intense fight where every hammer meant a victory for a team as they bid with cash in their pockets for the best available players in order to build a formidable squad. Since the purse was increased from Rs 66 Cr to Rs 80 Cr, we were already expecting bids to reach their highest levels but it was the frequency of those bids that made IPL Auction 2018 the most talked about jam ever.

While the likes of Chris Gayle, Gautam Gambhir, and Harbhajan Singh didn’t even get early bidders, there were some young talents for whom all of the franchises went head over heels during the IPL Auction 2018.

KKR spent the most money and CSK was at the bottom of spenders but when it comes the number of players acquired, Kolkata was the bottom with 19 players and Chennai was at the top with 25. This fact alone is enough to decipher that IPL 2018 is going to get even more interesting and it will offer something that we haven’t seen in the last decade.

image source: zeenews
image source: zeenews

That said, as the curtains were drawn for IPL Auction 2018, some interesting highlights emerged that might as well set the right tone for the 11th season of Indian Premier League which starts on April 7.

IPL Auction 2018: 10 Biggest Highlights From This Two-Day Extravaganza

  • Ben Stokes was the biggest purchase, having been sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12.5 crore. Stokes, who was earlier charged over a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub, was on the marquee list having a base price of Rs 2 crore.
  • Jaydev Unadkat, the Indian left-arm pacer, became the costliest Indian player after RR emptied Rs 11.50 crore to bag his services during the IPL Auction 2018.
  • K L Rahul and Manish Pandey bagged bumper deals of Rs 11 crore each. Rahul was snapped up by KXIP while Manish Pandey, who played for KKR last season, was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
  • Four Afghan cricketers created history as they made huge strides during IPL Auction 2018. Rashid Khan was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 9 crore via the right to match card and Mohammad Nabi too went to SRH for Rs 1 crore. Mujeeb Zadran and Zahir Khan, who are currently featuring the U-19 Cricket World Cup, were picked up by KXIP (Rs 4 cr) and RR (Rs 60 Lakh), respectively.
  • West Indies legend Chris Gayle, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2011-2017, got third-time lucky after his name was announced for the third time. While he didn’t get any bids on Saturday and Sunday, he was sold for his base price of Rs 2 crore to KKIP.
  • Other high-profile players, including  Indian opener M Vijay, Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, and wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, got another chance, as well. Vijay was sold to Chennai Super Kings for Rs 2 crore while Patel went to RCB for Rs 1.7 crore and Johnson grabbed a Rs 2 crore-deal with KKR.
  • Sandeep Lamichhane also created history after becoming the first cricketer from Nepal to ever get an IPL contract. He was bought by Delhi Daredevils (DD) for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
  • Mumbai Indians (MI) retained uncapped all-rounder Krunal Pandya for Rs 8.8 crore after the defending champions exercised the Right to Match card on the conclusion of a bidding war between RR, RCB, and SRH.
  • Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, and Glenn Maxwell bagged Rs 9 crore plus deals during IPL Auction 2018. While Lynn was bought for Rs 9.6 crore by KKR, Starc fetched Rs 9.4 crore from the same franchise. Maxwell, on the other hand, went to Delhi Daredevils for Rs. 9 crores.
  • Morne Morkel, Ashton Agar, Aiden Markram, Dale Steyn, Unmukt Chand, Ishant Sharma, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Lasith Malinga, Martin Guptill, were in the list of players who went unsold.

All eight franchises had 182 slots to fill from a combined pool of 578 (Indian and overseas) players and the IPL Auction 2018 indeed had some surprises in store. While franchisees overlooked some of the biggest names who had grabbed fat pay-cheques in earlier auctions, some lesser known names featured in the climax with hefty price tags.

Let’s see how all this makes up for the ultimate battle that begins on April 7.

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