South African all-rounder Chris Morris created a new Indian Premier League (IPL) record on Friday after he became the most expensive player ever in the history of the cash-rich league. Rajasthan Royals were the team that broke the bank for Morris as they agreed to pay Rs 16.25 crore for his services at the players’ auction.
Morris was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after the IPL 2020 season.
Mumbai Indians, RCB and Punjab Kings were the other franchises that showed interest in Morris in the ongoing auction, before RR eventually picked him up.
Meanwhile, IPL’s perennial under-performer Glenn Maxwell once again fetched big money with Royal Challengers Bangalore bidding a whopping Rs 14.25 crore to secure his services.
Prior to Morris, Yuvraj Singh was the costliest ever buy in auction history; he went to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 16 crore in IPL 2015.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali went for a high price of Rs 7 crore to Chennai Super Kings. Both Maxwell and Moeen had base prices of Rs 2 crore.
In contrast, Australian Steve Smith, who was released by Rajasthan Royals, was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.20 crore, only Rs 20 lakh more than his base price.
India all-rounder Shivam Dube was bought by RR for Rs 4.4 crore. Bangladesh great Shakib Al Hasan went to Kolkata Knight Riders for Ras 3.2 crore.
Playing for RCB last season, Morris only scored 34 runs in nine matches and took 11 wickets. His campaign was impacted by injury issues.
In the first hour of the auction, the players who went unsold were Karun Nair, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Kedar Jadhav and Aaron Finch among others.
South African all-rounder Chris Morris has played 70 IPL matches for 80 wickets at an economy of 7.81, apart from 551 runs at a strike rate above 157. He played only 9 matches in IPL 2020 due to fitness issues, but was one of the important death bowlers for RCB.
“We spoke to Chris before the auction. He’s in a bubble in South Africa now. Chris is an ex Royal. We’ve re-balanced our side and he will be an important player for us. We did get stretch to our limits, that was our last bid for him but Punjab Kings thankfully held back,” Rajasthan Royals COO Jake Lush McCrum said after the buy.
RCB coach Mike Hesson said he was delighted for Morris’ price tag.
“We obviously had a limit of what we wanted to go till for Morris. Absolutely delighted for Chris, but it went above our limit.”
Full list of players at IPL Auction 2021
1) Karun Nair – Unsold
2) Alex Hales – Unsold
3) Jason Roy – Unsold
4) Steve Smith – Delhi Capitals – ₹2.2 Crore
5) Evin Lewis – Unsold
6) Aaron Finch – Unsold
7) Hanuma Vihari – Unsold
8) Glenn Maxwell – Royal Challengers Bangalore – ₹14.25 crore
9) Kedar Jadhav – Unsold
10) Shakib Al Hasan – Kolkata Knight Riders – ₹3.2 Crore
11) Moeen Ali – Chennai Super Kings – ₹7 crore
12) Shivam Dube – Rajasthan Royals – ₹4.4 crore
13) Chris Morris – Rajasthan Royals – ₹16.25 crore
14) Dawid Malan – Punjab Kings – ₹1.5 crore