New Delhi: A total of ₹ 107 crore was spent by eight franchise owners at the IPL Auction 2019 in Jaipur. Rajasthan Royals placed an ambitious bet on bowler Jaydev Unadkat for ₹ 8.4 crore. After an intense bidding war, Kings XI Punjab bought little-known mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy for ₹ 8.4 crore. The two players emerged as the most expensive in this auction.
“The plan was to never lose Jaydev but to balance the squad, and we are pretty sorted. Now, we plan to pay attention to the back-up players as we lose out on a lot of players due to the World Cup. We know that players’ prices in the second auction, especially if they are sought after, are really high. So, we did expect most of the sought after players to get a high bid and they did, in line with our planning," said Manoj Badale, co-owner, Rajasthan Royals.
IPL’s eight franchisees bought 60 players, including 40 from India and 20 from overseas in this auction. A total of 351 cricketers went under the hammer for 70 available slots in the league.
Four players made it to the ₹ 5 crore club. They are Carlos Braithwaite (Kolkata Knight Riders), Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals), Mohit Sharma (Chennai Super Kings) and Shivam Dubey (Royal Challengers Bangalore).
One key highlight of the IPL 2019 auctions was the emergence of young talent. Apart from Axar Patel and Shivam Dubey, 17-year old wicket-keeper and batsman Prabhsimran Singh was a head turner, bagging ₹ 4.8 crore from Kings XI Punjab.
“The IPL 2019 auctions followed a similar trend of the past few years where teams have gone for young talent and not necessarily wooed big names. The objective is to find talent which fits their requirements and that is why we see Yuvraj Singh being picked in the second round of auctions," said Indranil Das Blah, chief executive of entertainment marketing firm Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions.
Yuvraj Singh’s fans were relieved when the 37-year-old was bought by Mumbai Indians at the base price of ₹ 1 crore after going unsold initially. In 2015, Singh had fetched a record ₹ 16 crore deal with the Delhi franchise, but was picked up by Kings XI Punjab at the base price of ₹ 2 crore last season, before the team released him. Blah said that Prabhsimran Singh and Varun Chakravarthy are the biggest winners in this auction.
Chakravarthy, a 27-year-old spinner from Tamil Nadu, gave up his career as a freelance architect to pursue cricket. He rose to prominence owing to a strong showing in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
“Chakravarthy is important because of the insane amount of money he has received and Singh becaue of his talent at such a young age," Blah added.
IPL has been both a money-spinner and an engrossing cricket league. The total viewership of the 11th edition of the IPL reportedly was somewhere around 1.4 billion, almost 15% more than the previous year.
IPL 2017 had managed to touch 1.2 billion impressions, numbers from Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India show.
Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.
Star India, the official broadcaster of IPL, earned more than ₹ 2,000 crore in ad revenues in 2017.
PTI contributed to this report.