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IPL AUCTION: LIAM LIVINGSTONE IS TOP OVERSEAS BUY

Livingstone fetched a price-tag of Rs 11.50 crores from Punjab Kings while Mumbai Indians paid big bucks for Jofra Archer and Tim David.

A base-price purchase for the previous IPL season, England’s explosive allrounder Liam Livingstone became the most expensive overseas signing of the 2022 IPL mega auction with a Rs 11.50 crore deal with Punjab Kings. That price tag is the fourth-highest for an England cricketer after Ben Stokes (2017, 2018) and Tymal Mills (2017).

Five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians entered day two of the mega auction in Bangalore with almost twice as much to spend as the next highest – current champions Chennai Super Kings – and spent 21.35 crore of their purse on getting the all-round trio of Jofra Archer, Tim David, Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Mills with an eye on the future.

Mumbai also pursued Romario Shepherd until the Rs 4-crore mark, but pulled out as Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals joined the fray late. Shepherd was purchased by SRH for 7.75cr while his international team-mate Odean Smith went to Punjab for 6cr to continue the IPL’s affinity for West Indian allrounders.

Headlining a comparatively slower day of spending when stacked up against the staggering Rs 388cr that was splurged on Saturday was Livingstone, who returned to England’s white-ball setup in 2021 on the basis of big runs in several T20 leagues across the globe and ended the year with 86 sixes in the format. Chennai and Kolkata Knight Riders bid immediately for Livingstone, whose value shifted from a base price of 1cr to 4.5cr in less than a minute.

Punjab raised the stakes to 5cr and were then rivalled by Gujarat Titans who made a late bid at 7cr, which saw the initial two franchises pull out. The tussle between Punjab and Titans continued until SRH raised their paddle to shoot the asking to 10.50cr, which left the ball in the Mohali-based franchise’s court. They did not relent and secured Livingstone for 11.50cr.

Jofra Archer Mumbai Indians
The injured Jofra Archer has joined Mumbai Indians. (Image: Getty)

Despite not being available for the 2022 IPL edition as he continues his injury rehabilitation, Archer found himself a new home with MI who spent 8cr for his all-round services. Sunrisers made a late bid for Archer, but Mumbai were not about to let go.

David, capped in T20Is for Singapore, has plied his trade around the globe in franchise cricket and his big-hitting skills found interest from Delhi Capitals, Kolkata, Punjab, Lucknow Super Giants, Rajasthan and Mumbai before setting at MI for 8.25cr – the most that the franchise has every paid for a non-Indian player. Sams, previously with Royal Challengers Bangalore, was valued at 2.6cr, English quick Mills at 1.5cr and Australian pacer Meredith at 1cr.

Punjab, having splurged on Livingstone, aggressively bid for Guyana Amazon Warriors’ allrounder Smith and secured him for 6cr, apart from adding Under-19 World Cup-winning pace bowler Raj Angad Bawa, who was valued at 2cr. Smith, 25, saw his price jump to 4cr when Royals joined the bidding but it was the persistence with which Punjab went after him that fetched him a very good deal. Not long after, Punjab went equally hard at Shivam Dube but could not top the 4cr that CSK forked out.

Odean Smith IPL
Odean Smith celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli during the recent ODIs. (Image: BCCI)

Chennai made smart buys in Chris Jordan for 3.6cr, Adam Milne and Mitchell Santner for 1.9 cr each, Devon Conway for 1cr, Dwayne Pretorius for 50 lakhs and India U-19 allrounder Rajvardhan Hargangekar.

Delhi bolstered their pace attack by acquiring the left-arm seam pair of Khaleel Ahmed for 5.25cr, Chetan Sakariya for 4.20cr and Lungi Ngidi for 2cr, which means that the trio joined Anrich Nortje, Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman and Kamlesh Nagarkoti as the franchise’s pace quotient. The one-time pacer Khaleel found takers in Mumbai and Delhi almost as soon as his name was announced, and eventually went to the latter from his base price of 50 lakhs. Also added by Delhi was the West Indian allrounder Rovman Powell for a steal deal of 2.8cr.

In addition to the aforementioned costly buys, Delhi bolstered their bench by picking up batsman Mandeep Singh and three domestic allrounders in Lalit Yadav, India’s U-19 World Cup captain Yash Dhull and Ripal Patel, all for under 2.50cr.

Having failed to secure seam bowler Sakariya back in their ranks, Rajasthan outbid Mumbai and Lucknow to purchase Navdeep Saini for 2.6cr. The Gujarat franchise strengthened their squad by acquiring David Miller (3cr), Matthew Wade (2.4cr), West Indian pair of Alzarri Joseph (2.4cr) and Dominic Drakes (1.1 cr), Indian allrounders Vijay Shankar (1.4cr) and Jayant Yadav (1.7 cr), Wriddhiman Saha (1.9cr) and uncapped left-arm pacer Yash Dayal (3.2 cr).

KKR picked up Sam Billings and Umesh Yadav for their base prices of 2cr and Mohammad Nabi for 1cr. The Karnataka allrounder K Gowtham, who in 2021 was bought for a jaw-dropping 9.25cr by CSK and then did not get a single game, went to Lucknow for a very modest 90 lakhs.

Initially unsold in the first round, the likes of England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, Australia’s ODI and T20I skipper Aaron Finch, No 1-ranked Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne, Shakib Al Hasan, Colin Munro, Moises Henriques and the BBL’s recent hot property Ben McDermott did not find takers.

The 2022 IPL begins April 2 and runs until June 3.

Written by Jamie Alter

Sports writer, author, actor, anchor, digital content creator and TedX Talks speaker.

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