December 19 in Dubai turned out to be an absolute spectacle with several bargain buys at IPL 2024 auction attracting attention amidst some huge bids. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins set the auction on fire after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) shelled out INR 24.75 crore and 22.50 crore respectively.
However, there were a few big and experienced players, who did not get as big a deal as they were expected to. Franchises could consider themselves lucky for buying some of the utility players for a lesser price.
The same players could turn out to be match-winners for them in the upcoming edition of the prestigious T20 league.
Bargain buys at IPL 2024 auction
Wanindu Hasaranga is among the most lethal spinners in world cricket at the present point in time. Moreover, he is a powerful striker of the ball and his abilities with the bat in hand cannot be undermined by any stretch of the imagination.
Hasaranga missed the World Cup 2023 due to injury, but became the Player of the Tournament in the 2023 edition of the Lanka Premier League.
After being released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Hasaranga registered himself in the auction at a base price of INR 1.50 crore. It was expected that the Sri Lankan would fetch big bucks, but that was not the case.
After Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) opened the bidding at his base price, but none of the other nine teams showed interest, making him one of the best bargain buys at IPL 2024 auction.
In 157 T20s, Hasaranga has picked up 216 wickets at an economy rate of 6.81 with three five-wicket hauls to his name. He has also scored seven half-centuries with a top score of 77 not out.
Harry Brook is one of the most promising youngsters in world cricket at the present point in time. He has grown leaps and bounds, having also performed in overseas T20 leagues. Last year, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), but he could not live up to expectations.
Brook racked up a hundred against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. But apart from that knock, he found the going tough. He batted both as an opener and in the middle-order, but could not show consistency despite promising a lot.
However, Brook kept performing at the international level. Recently, he scored an unbeaten 31 off seven balls against the West Indies and helped England snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Brook went into the IPL auction at a base price of INR 2 crore. Delhi Capitals (DC) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) bid for him before DC bought him at INR 4 crore.
Later, Ricky Ponting, the head coach of the Capitals, said that he was surprised to see Brook’s price in the auction.
Rachin Ravindra went into the 2023 World Cup as an unknown entity. After the mega event on Indian soil, he is deemed as one of the brightest prospects in the World Cup. The southpaw finished fourth in the list of leading run-scorers, having notched 578 runs from 10 matches with three centuries to his name.
Ravindra is also more than handy with his left-arm spin. He registered himself at a base price of INR 50 lakhs and was expected to trigger bidding wars, given how brilliantly he performed in the World Cup where he made a mockery of world-class bowling attacks.
However, Ravindra could only bag INR 1.80 crore from the Super Kings. CSK started the bidding after which the Delhi Capitals joined in. At INR 95 lakhs, the Capitals backed out after which Punjab Kings joined in.
But in the end, it was CSK, who had the last laugh. Being a talented all-rounder, Ravindra was predicted to set the auction on fire, but that was not the case.
Azmatullah Omarzai was another cricketer, who was not a big name before the World Cup, but made a name with stupendous performances in the mega event. Along with the likes of Ibrahim Zadran and Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah, Omarzai was a key part of the Afghanistan batting lineup in the World Cup.
In nine matches, Omarzai scored 353 runs at an average of 70.60 and a strike-rate of 97.78 with three half-centuries. He was unlucky to have missed out on a hundred after he scored 97 against South Africa at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Apart from his stupendous showing with the bat in hand, Omarzai also delivered with the ball. In nine matches, the right-arm pacer picked up seven wickets at an economy rate of 7.10.
Omarzai registered himself in the IPL auction at a base price of INR 50 lakhs. Bearing in mind that he is an all-rounder, he was expected to fetch decent money, but that did not happen.
Gujarat Titans (GT) bought him at his base price in the auction in one of the best bargain buys at IPL 2024 auction. Omarzai has Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad as his Afghan teammates in the Titans.
Rajasthan Royals might have pulled off a great steal deal after buying England’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore in the auction. The Royals bought him at his base price of INR 40 lakhs. The 29-year-old Kohler-Cadmore has not donned the national colors, but has plenty of experience in T20 leagues all around the world.
In 169 T20s, Kohler-Cadmore scored 4423 runs at an average of 29.68 and a strike-rate of 140.59 with one century and 33 half-centuries to his name.
Recently, he became the leading run-scorer in the T10 League at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. He racked up 368 runs from 10 matches at an average of 73.50 and a strike-rate of 224.39 with two half-centuries and a top score of 69 not out to his name.
Last year, he batted with precision for the Peshawar Zalmi while playing in the 2023 Pakistan Super League (PSL). In 12 matches, Kohler-Cadmore scored 325 runs at an average of 32.50 and a strike-rate of 160.09 with three fifties and a top score of 92.