Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Out of 10 teams, 3 teams didn't even finish their maximum overseas player quota in IPL 2022 Auction.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega-auction saw an intense battle between 10 franchises for two consecutive days in Bengaluru before the respective teams got shaped for what should be another thrilling season of T20 cricket.
IPL has once again lived up to its name of being the “Premier” league as 10 franchises used up a total of INR 551.70 crores on acquiring the services of 204 players at the mega-auction in Bengaluru, highest by any league in world cricket.
Tectonic shift in Franchises’ investment
The world's richest cricket league, however, has come full circle as franchises used to invest more in overseas stars in the first few editions of the tournament, but this time, teams looked more attracted to home-grown talents.
Out of INR 551.70 crores, a sum of INR 314.2 crores was only invested in Indian players which amounts to a significant 56.95 per cent. While it was pretty understandable that Indian players will remain in high demand in IPL, the fact that franchises capitalised mostly on homegrown talent show how teams are looking forward to nurturing a team around Indian youngsters.
The two-day event in Bengaluru saw many unexpected curves as several big names in world cricket remained unsold. Eoin Morgan, Steve Smith, Dawid Malan, Aaron Finch, Ben Cutting and Shakib Al Hasan are the prime examples of it.
The teams, this time didn't go for stature and name, rather they showed interest in proven performers who are the products of home soil. While Ishan Kishan going for above INR 10 crores was pretty obvious before the IPL 2022 mega-auction, Deepak Chahar coming out to be the most expensive Indian fast bowler (INR 14 crore to CSK) in IPL history was a surprise for the cricket fraternity and fans. The price was justified as the 29-year-old offers a lot to the franchise.
The third most expensive buy of IPL 2022 was Shreyas Iyer, yet another Indian. However, just like Kishan, the Mumbai-born going for a big bag was quite obvious as he was one of the top captaincy candidates, a couple of teams were looking for.
Franchises Look to Consolidate banking on home-grown Talent keeping in mind the Future
It seemed during the auction that most of the teams were not even looking to fill the allotted eight overseas spots but were keen to invest in home-grown talent. This idea/approach of paying more to domestic Indian talent is also another indicator of the depth of the Indian talent pool. As a consequence, lesser-known players get international exposure early in their career and franchises’ over-reliance on foreign players also gets substantially reduced.
Young pacer Avesh Khan's services were acquired by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) for INR 10 crores for his stunning performance in the 2021 edition of IPL. Prasidh Krishna, another pacer, was given a heavy bag (INR 10 crores) by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for his recent player of the series performance against West Indies.
Nitish Rana, who is not a regular in the national team, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for INR 8 crores while uncapped Rahul Tripathi who has been one of the most consistent performers in the cash-rich league was bought for INR 8.50 crores by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Another Rahul became crorepati (millionaire) in IPL 2022 mega-auction as Gujarat Titans broke its bank and bought Rahul Tewatia for INR 9 crores. A surprising pick with a mind-boggling amount.
Abhishek Sharma, who was the captain of India U-19 team which won the Asia Cup in 2018 and impressed everyone with his all-around performance at the 2018 U-19 World Cup, was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for INR 6.50 crores.
Shahrukh Khan, one of the most destructive T20 finishers in the domestic circuit, got an amazing deal from Punjab Kings (PBKS), his former franchise and got signed for INR 9 crores. Punjab Kings (PBKS) bought Harpreet Brar for INR 3.8 crores, who turned the game against RCB in IPL 2021 on its head by getting the prized wicket of RCB trio Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell.
India U-19 World Cup-winning captain Yash Dhull was sold to Delhi Capitals (DC) while all-rounder Raj Bawa and pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar were sold to PBKS and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), respectively.
Mayank Markande, N Tilak Varma, Priyam Garg, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, N Jagadeesan, Rinku Singh and Anukul Roy -- all home grown talent got rewarded for their consistent performances and made it an auction to remember.
With franchises now switching their focus to Indian youngsters, it will boost the confidence of other domestic players, motivating them to give their best on the field as they never know who, when and where are taking notes of their skills.
At the end of the day, it is the "Indian" Premier League and it will keep living up to its name.