In the first big surprise to come out of the IPL 2018 auction, Chris Gayle went unsold in the first round of bids in Bangalore on Saturday. Gayle, who has been one of the biggest stars in the IPL over the eague’s first decade, had set his base price at INR 2 crore (USD 312,500 approx)
India opener Shikhar Dhawan was the first player bought at the IPL 2018 auction, by Sunrisers Hyderabad, his old franchise using a Right To Match (RTM) card to snap him up after extensive bidding among other teams. He was sold for INR 5.2 crore (USD 812,500 approx) Kings XI Punjab offered the first bid of the morning with INR 2 crore (USD 312,500 approx). Rajasthan Royals, returning after their two-year suspension for their role in the spot-fixing scandal of 2013, were next in. Mumbai Indians joined the bidding once Royals dropped out, and more back and forth ensued with Kings XI. Eventually, though, it was Dhawan’s old franchise who had the final say.
Offspinner R Ashwin was next up, and while his old franchise were involved in early bidding for him with Kings XI they dropped out at the 4-crore mark – they could not use an RTM on Ashwin, given they had already retained three capped India players in MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja before the auction. Royals then took up the bidding with Kings XI, but it was the latter who won this time, getting Ashwin at INR 7.6 crore (USD 1.1875 million approx)
More extensive bidding ensued for Kieron Pollard, the West Indies allrounder. Again Kings XI were involved, and again a RTM was used by Mumbai Indians, snatching Pollard off Delhi Daredevils for INR 5.4 crore (USD 843,750 approx).