The IPL 2019 Auction for the upcoming 12th edition was held in Jaipur was quite an interesting day. It wasn’t the big auction days like previous seasons, but the event had a charm to give teams a desired time. There were 351 players up for grabs, and out of the 70 slots available across teams, 60 of them were filled. Teams will feel happy with what they acquired.
Several players started a bidding war as teams went the distance to get them and fill in the squad. But there were many top names that didn’t find any takers. One expected that these big names could be garnering the focus and dictating terms on the day. But that did not happen.
The window was more of Indian uncapped players getting deals. Also several foreign names that aren’t big stars got deals.
Here’s the list of mega players who went unsold in the IPL 2019 Auction.
Kiwi veteran McCullum ignored
After being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum had set his base price at Rs 2 crore. And surprisingly, the veteran star didn’t attract any bids. McCullum had been a household name every single season up till now. But this time things went the other way.
In earlier editions, he was one of the top buys across several franchises and he kit up proceedings quite often with his range of shots. McCullum, who has played 356 T20 matches, has gone on to amass 9,620 runs in the format. He had also helped Trinbago Knight Riders defend the 2018 CPL.
But all good things come to an end. McCullum had a dismal IPL 2018 campaign and never got going. He managed to score only 127 runs in six games.
And now the player has hinted that he may hang up his boots soon. McCullum told Radio Sport, “That’s the way things go sometimes. I’ve been very lucky, I’ve had 11 seasons in the IPL and at some stage you need to transition away from the playing stuff.”
The player will be seen in the Big Bash League 2019.
No takers for in-form Steyn
Veteran South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn came back to deliver huge success for his side after a phase that had seen him being injured. Steyn, who has created a sound since his return, had set a base price of Rs 1.50 crore for himself. But unfortunately, the Proteas man was ignored.
The veteran pacer has done well since his return to the South African team earlier this year. But that wasn’t enough to get him a bid. Steyn has experience in playing in the IPL and it could be his age and injury-prone history that went against him.
He played 90 matches in the IPL earlier and picked 92 scalps.
Steyn has been bowling at a good pace and looks fitter. He is expected to play a role for SA in the upcoming 2019 World Cup.
IPL 2019 teams who required foreign pacers, decided to ignore him and focus elsewhere. He is currently going to feature against Pakistan in the Test series at home.
Veteran Morkel a big miss
One had expected former South African pacer Morne Morkel to get a deal in the IPL 2019 Auction. The experienced pacer knows a lot about the IPL and has featured for Delhi and Kolkata earlier. He has substantial bounce and is handy in the first 6 overs of power play.
But teams who decided to have a go at pacers, didn’t have a crack at him. Morkel’s base price was Rs 1.50 crore. Perhaps, that did against the veteran former Proteas man.
Recently, Morkel had appeared in the T10 League in the UAE. In 70 IPL matches, Morkel picked a decent 77 scalps at an economy rate of 7.69.
His towering personality will be missed in IPL 12.
Afghanistan’s Zazai could have been the future
Afghanistan’s promising player Hazratullah Zazai is a sound middle order batsman. He is just 20 years of age. The youngster is someone who could have been a sound future investment. Zazai has scored 712 runs in 20 T20 matches. That is quite a decent record.
He has already smashed a hundred and four fifties in this period. The player is also familiar with subcontinent pitches and is strong with his big-hitting abilities. He could have been a decent signing and teams could have fed on him to get impetus in the middle overs.
With his growing stature and a decent base price of just Rs 50 lakh, teams may have missed the plot here. The Afghanistan star recently became only the third batsman to hit six sixes in an over in a T20 match. He achieved that in the Afghanistan Premier League.
An excellent fielder, Zazai will need to score more emphatically in coming time to ensure a ticket in IPL 2020. His future looks bright.
Other big misses
There were several other star players who were ignored in the IPL 2019 Auction. Those include the likes of Bangladesh veteran wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim.
The player is one of the celebrated names in modern day cricket, who bears experience across all three formats and is a mainstay of the Bangladeshi side. The senior cricketer is another case of a solid name being omitted.
Chris Jordan was another big player with T20 pedigree that got ignored. He didn’t get much game time in IPL 2018. He spent two seasons with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and played just two matches in total. The Englishman, who has the credentials of being a big match player, will feel hard done.
Ben McDermott (Australia), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Ankit Bawne (India) and Ishan Porel (India) were some of the other quality names that did not find any takers.