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Shockingly underpriced players at the IPL 2024 Auction

article_imageIPL 2024 AUCTION
Last updated on 20 Dec 2023 | 05:22 PM
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Shockingly underpriced players at the IPL 2024 Auction

Players who were the biggest steal in the 2024 IPL auction due to a surprising lack of interest from other teams

Azmatullah Omarzai

As the Indian Premier League (IPL) history tells us, filling a spot for the seam-bowling all-rounders is one of the most challenging jobs at an auction. There are not enough options in the Indian contingent and hence, the overseas pros in the role make extravagant money auction after auction. 

In a similar vein, Azmatullah Omarzai should have been a hot property at the auction. He had the highest batting potential among the all-round options available at the auction - overseas or Indian. He was a perfect fit in as many as five teams - an ideal backup for Sam Curran in Punjab, Mitchell Marsh in Delhi, Cameron Green in Bangalore, and could get into the XIs of Gujarat and Rajasthan. 

However, as the auction continued, none of these teams identified Omarzai as a potential target. Gujarat, the one team that needed him the most, signed him at his base price of INR 50 lakh. 

In a possible explanation, teams don’t trust overseas players who are inexperienced on the IPL circuit. And the Impact Player rule has diminished the value of all-rounders. But, Omarzai comes with immense potential and did well against top teams in the ODI World Cup in Indian conditions. Hence, Gujarat acquiring him at base price was one of the biggest steals of the auction. 

Kartik Tyagi

Another tough position to fill in auctions is that of Indian pacer. The 2024 auction had several options available. It is debatable who was the best among them but Kartik Tyagi had the most significant upside. Among those who have played IPL before, Tyagi was the quickest. He would be a perfect fit for Punjab, a side that lacks pace in their pace attack. However, they opted for another seamer who relies on variations, i.e. Harshal Patel

Similarly, Tyagi was a good fit for other sides like Bangalore, Lucknow, Mumbai and Gujarat. Ideally, Tyagi’s name at the auction should have led to a bidding war. But only Kolkata, Lucknow and Gujarat showed interest in the speedster. Gujarat won the bid for him at only INR 60 lakh. It was another steal for Gujarat given many other teams were left with both purse and slots available to the 2022 winners. The fact that Yash Dayal went at INR 5 crore makes Tyagi’s low price more baffling. 

David Willey

Another overseas all-rounder who should have fetched more money, David Willey was signed at his base price - only INR 2 crore by Lucknow. As an experienced bowling all-rounder who can occupy the number eight slot, even number seven if the top six are powerful, Willey was only taken in the accelerated round. He would be a perfect fit for Rajasthan, where he could be both an all-rounder and a backup for Trent Boult. But the 2008 IPL champions instead acquired Nandre Burger, for whom it will be his first IPL season. Also, RR had spent most of their money on signing overseas batters, and ultimately, ended up with only INR 20 lakh left when Willey came at his base price 10 times higher than their purse. 

The fact that Willey is retired from international cricket and fully committed to T20 leagues was another add-on to his package. Since 2022, the southpaw averaged 22.9 in 67 T20s with the bat and bowled at an economy of 7.7. Hence, he was a good enough candidate to be a first-choice player in a few other sides. 

But instead, he will spend the 2024 season in LSG colors, as a backup seamer for Mark Wood and Naveen-ul-Haq. From Lucknow’s perspective, it is a steal as they have secured an overseas all-rounder despite a limited purse at the auction. 

Wanindu Hasaranga

Overseas spinners haven’t had good fortunes in the IPL, but Wanindu Hasaranga comes with an x-factor. He is a leg-spinner who can contribute with the bat. There are only a handful of cricketers available in this category among the 12 Test-playing nations. Two teams - Mumbai and Hyderabad - would have benefited greatly from Hasaranga’s addition. 

Since there were only two teams in contention for Hasaranga, he was expected to go for much less than his previous IPL contract - INR 10.75 crore for Bangalore. The leg-spinner had also experienced a dearth in his bowling returns of late. The 2023 IPL season brought him only nine wickets at an economy of 8.9. In addition, he had averaged only 7.2 with the bat in his three seasons with RCB. 

Yet, in anticipation, a bidding war between Mumbai and Hyderabad was an exciting event in store. However, only Hyderabad raised the paddle for the Sri Lankan all-rounder, at a base price of INR 1.5 crore. 

While Hasaranga might still not break into Hyderabad’s XI, the fact that they pouched him at his base price makes him one of the biggest steals of the auction. 

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