Five superstars who could go unsold at the IPL auction 

The 2024 IPL auction is set to take over the cricketing world as it is one of the most anticipated events of the year. The think tanks of the 10 IPL franchises will gather in Dubai on December 19th for what could be a pretty action-packed auction.

There will be several top superstars such as Mitchell Starc, Harry Brook, Pat Cummins, Wanindu Hasaranga and Travis Head, who will go under the hammer. The IPL auction 2024 could also turn out to be a huge moment in the careers of a handful of emerging talents from the country. 

There are a total of 333 players set to be auctioned on Tuesday but only 77 spots are to be filled. So there will be plenty of players who will be disappointed after the auction. The IPL teams have become smarter in recent years and that means they seldom go after the big names blindly. Today we take a look at five superstars who could go unsold at the IPL auction. 

Punjab Kings (PBKS) owner – Who is the owner of PBKS in IPL 2023?

Players who could be unsold in the 2024 IPL auction

Steve Smith 

ipl auction
Photo by Icon sport

Steve Smith is one of the greatest ever players to have picked the bat and his record in Test cricket is simply ridiculous. But his T20 game has always been criticised and he often comes across as a misfit in the high power-hitting demands of the shorter format. 

Smith last played in the IPL in 2021 when he represented Delhi Capitals. In the following year's auction, he went unsold and he did not register for the IPL 2023 auction. He is back in the player pool for the IPL 2024 auction after some good performances in the BBL. Smith has played six matches in the BBL in the last and the ongoing season, scoring 407 runs at an average of 81 and strike rate of 169. He has smashed two hundreds and two fifties in these games. 

However, IPL is a different ballgame and Smith's track record in the league hasn't been great the last couple of seasons he was here. He has played for Pune Warriors India, Rising Pune SuperGiants, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals. In his last two seasons, Smith averaged 26 and struck at 125. The franchises seemed to have moved on from him and he could go unsold yet again. 

Rilee Rossouw

The South African batter has been one of the most prolific batters in the T20 arena in the last few years. On the back of those performances in international T20s and leagues around, Rilee Rossouw earned himself an IPL contract in 2023. He did a decent job in his comeback in the league, scoring 209 runs in nine innings at an average of 30 and a strike rate of 148. 

Delhi Capitals, who bought Rossouw for INR 4.60 crore, opted to release him ahead of this auction. Rossouw has scored 997 runs in the shorter format this year, averaging 30 at a strike rate of 157 with six fifties and a hundred. 

He is an excellent batter who can add a lot of value to an IPL side if he bats in the top four. Despite that, he could go unsold in the IPL auction as most teams are looking to bolster their overseas bowling stocks. 

Manish Pandey 

Manish Pandey was part of the Delhi Capitals squad in the IPL 2023. The franchise had bought him for INR 2.40 crore after fighting off Royal Challengers Bangalore. His returns, however, were well below expectations as he struggled to get going in the tournament. Understandably, he was released ahead of this auction to free up some purse.

Manish Pandey is one of those players, who has featured in every season of the IPL since its inception. Being an Indian player with some international experience does help in this regard. Pandey has played for as many as seven different IPL franchises over the years. 

Manish Pandey was the first ever Indian player to hit an individual century in the IPL back in 2009. The right-hand batter has had some decent years in the league, in 2016, 2017 and 2019. But largely his career has been a story of unfulfilled potential. 

Pandey, who was known more as a traditional bat, finds himself short of the T20 demands. In the last two IPL editions, he scored 248 runs from 15 innings at an awful average of 16 and a strike rate of 109. There is a good enough reason to believe that this could be the end of the road for him. 

Adil Rashid 

Adil Rashid has been one of the best spinners in white-ball cricket in recent years and he has played a key role in England's success since 2015. Despite that, he went unsold in the IPL year after year until the 2021 auction. The Punjab Kings picked him but only played him in one game.

Rashid had no buyers in the following year's auction but in the 2023 auction, Sunrisers Hyderabad acquired his services. Rashid was given only two games as Hyderabad struggled to get their balance right. 

Rashid had a pretty good World Cup campaign in India and he continues to do well in international T20s. But he's likely to go unsold in the IPL 2024 auction as the teams generally look for Indian spinners and overseas pace bowlers. Unless you are Rashid Khan or offer genuine all-round value, it is extremely hard for overseas spinners to find bidders at the IPL auction.

Umesh Yadav 

Umesh Yadav is amongst the most admired cricketers in the country for his journey and contributions to India's success in Test cricket. He has had his moments in the IPL as well, despite being known to be erratic with his lines at times. 

Umesh Yadav's overall IPL career has not been impressive but he had a few good seasons. He has played for Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2010, missing only one season in 2021. 

Statistically, he had his best season in the IPL 2022 when he bagged 16 wickets for KKR at an economy of 7.06, including career-best figures of 4 for 23. But the 2023 season was one to forget as Umesh managed to pick one wicket in eight games.

With several up-and-coming pacers in the market, Umesh Yadav might not attract any bidders and end up being one of the superstars who could go unsold at the IPL auction.


A strong believer in the fact that Kohli and Paes are the greatest Indian superstars!