Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Australian pacer Pat Cummins stole the thunder in the mini auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 held in Kolkata.

He became the most expensive overseas player in IPL history when Kolkata Knight Riders signed him up for Rs155 million ($2.2 million) after a bidding war with Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Cummins shattered the record held by England’s Ben Stokes for the most expensive overseas player when he was sold for Rs145 million for the IPL 2018.

On hearing the news, Cummins in a video message on Kolkata’s official twitter, said: “Absolutely pumped to be back on board ... Can’t wait to get over there.”

It was a day of the Australians when Cummins’ compatriot and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell became the first millionaire buy of the auction when he got picked by Kings XI Punjab for Rs107.5 million.

Australian opener and skipper Aaron Finch, after a duel between Bengaluru and Kolkata, got picked by Bengaluru for Rs44 million.

Fast bowlers were in big demand and here Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile became another millionaire when Mumbai Indians got him for Rs80 million. It was 800 times more than his base price of Rs10 million.

West Indies’ Sheldon Cottrell, who had impressed the Indian fans with performance recently and his customary salute after taking a wicket, got picked up by Kings XI Punjab for Rs85 million.

The auction began with Chris Lynn, the star performer of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 tournament, getting sold to Mumbai Indians for Rs20 million. This was followed by England World Cup wining captain Eoin Morgan, who had a base price of Rs15 million, being signed up by Kolkata for Rs24 million. Robin Uthappa, who captains Kerala in Ranji Trophy, was the first Indian player to go under the hammer.

He fetched two times his base price when he got sold for Rs30 million to Rajasthan Royals.

Indian’s Under-19 World Cup team captain Priyam Garg got sold for Rs19 million.

Among the home team players veteran Piyush Chawla, who started with his base price of Rs10 million went on to earn Rs67.5 million when he was purchased by Chennai.

Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Charkravarthy — the most expensive players in the last edition at Rs84 million — went for Rs30 million and Rs40 million to Rajasthan and Kolkata respectively.

Delhi snapped up England’s Jason Roy and Chris Woakes for Rs15 million. Meanwhile, England all-rounder Sam Curran, who was the most expensive foreigner in last year’s auction, got sold to Chennai for Rs55 million, while West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer got sold for Rs77.5 million to Delhi.

Among the players that went unsold are India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera and Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim. Despite sterling performance by West Indies Shai Hope against India in the One-day series, he went unsold. Australian pacer Andre Tye, who was the leading wicket-taker for Gujarat Lions and New Zealand pacer Tim Southee too went unsold. Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan and New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme did not have any takers and so was the case of Afghanistan’s Zahir Khan.

Many feel that Anil Kumble as coach of the Punjab displayed his shrewdness in buying the players and hence could be the team to watch. Among the other players, who went unsold, are Australia’s Marcus Stoinis, West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite and Evin Lewis. Even India’s Manoj Tiwary too had no takers.