While Karnataka’s Gowtham (base price of Rs 20 lakh) was picked up for Rs 9.25 crore, Englishman Moeen (base price of Rs 2 crore) was snapped up for a relatively lesser sum of Rs 7 crore. Having parted ways with spinners Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla ahead of the auction, three-time IPL champion Super Kings was on the lookout for utility players.
Since off-spinning all-rounders Gowtham and Moeen fit the bill perfectly, CSK, led by bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji at the auction table, broke the bank for the duo. During the purchase of Gowtham, Super Kings staved off challenges from Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad to come up trumps in a three-way battle.
“I did not expect to go for such a huge amount. I just hoped to get into a very good team. As a cricketer, you need to perform when the opportunities are presented. Hopefully, I get a chance in the upcoming edition and can do what I do best,” Gowtham, currently with Team India in Ahmedabad as a net bowler for the England Test series, told DT Next. Shifting his allegiance from Punjab Kings to Super Kings for the season ahead, the 32-year-old can’t wait to don the yellow jersey. “I am extremely pleased that CSK has believed in my abilities. I will play under MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. So, I would say that it is a dream-come-true moment,” added Gowtham, the most-expensive uncapped buy ever.
After being edged out by Royal Challengers Bangalore during its pursuit of Australian Glenn Maxwell, CSK was in no mood to miss out on Moeen. And, the England all-rounder, who came up with an eye-catching performance in the recently concluded second Test against India in Chennai, expressed his delight.
“I am absolutely buzzing to play for Super Kings. The franchise has got a massive fan base. My international teammate Sam Curran is also there at CSK. This made my day, made my year,” said Moeen in a video message posted on the Star Sports Network.
Stepping into the auction with a purse of Rs 19.9 crore, Super Kings added Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara to its roster for his base price of Rs 50 lakh. Uncapped players K Bhagath Varma, M Harisankar Reddy and C Hari Nishaanth were also bought for Rs 20 lakh each.
Even after attaining the maximum squad limit of 25 players, the Chennai-based franchise had a remaining purse of Rs 2.55 crore.
SRK snapped up by Zinta’s Punjab Kings
After some excellent exploits in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT), Tamil Nadu big-hitting all-rounder Shahrukh Khan unsurprisingly drew the attention of the franchises at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction here.
The 25-year-old was eventually sold for a whopping Rs 5.25 crore to Preity Zinta co-owned Punjab Kings (PBKS), formerly known as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Shahrukh, an uncapped player with a base price of Rs 20 lakh, was in huge demand as teams went all out to get him.
“I am really excited to be a part of this franchise. I am hoping to learn a lot by playing under Anil Kumble sir and a dynamic captain like KL Rahul. I will try to do my best for the team,” said Shahrukh in a video message posted on the Punjab social media handles.
PBKS CEO Satish Menon was delighted with the pick. “As the name suggests, Shahrukh Khan is going to be a hero. He showed in the Syed Mushtaq Ali what he is capable of. He is a great middle-order guy to have in the team,” said Satish after the auction.
Two other players from the Tamil Nadu state team, left-arm spinner Manimaran Siddharth and opening batsman C Hari Nishaanth, were also sold at the auction. The 22-year-old Siddharth, who was released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), was snapped up by Delhi Capitals (DC) for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Coimbatore-based Hari Nishaanth will make his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which secured him for Rs 20 lakh. While three players from the state side got picked by different franchises, five of them went unsold at the auction.