Top 5 Unsold Players at the IPL 2024 Auction
It was raining money on Tuesday in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as ten franchises battled it out against each other on the auction table to pick their favorite players and make a formidable squad for the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League.
A total of 72 players got lucky as they went under the hammer and got picked by one of the teams. In total, the franchises splurged over INR 230 crore, and just like any other IPL auction, this year also witnessed many rags-to-riches stories.
Mitchell Starc received a warm comeback in the T20 league as Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out a whopping INR 24.75 crore to make him the costliest player in the history of the T20 extravaganza.
However, beneath all the headlines and the money talks, there were some sad stories as well because many players missed out on the golden chance of showcasing their mettle in the biggest T20 festival and went unsold. From over 240 players who failed to find a buyer after going under the hammer, there were a few names that took the cricket fraternity by surprise.
Let’s take a look at five players who shocked the fans by not finding a buyer in the IPL 2024 auction.
#5 Sarfaraz Khan
Placed at a base price of INR 20 lakhs, it was a shock for the cricket world to see Sarfaraz Khan going unsold in the IPL 2024 auction. The 26-year-old batter had a glorious entry into the T20 league as following his exploits in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup, Royal Challengers Bangalore showed faith in him and picked him for the 2015 edition. It was a decent year for the batter as he smacked 111 runs at an average of over 27 and a strike rate of over 156.
Following an average performance in 2016 and missing IPL 2017 because of injury, Khan made it to the headlines before the 2018 season for being one of the three retentions of RCB.
The Mumbai-born failed to justify his place and thus was picked by Punjab Kings in 2019 for INR 25 lakhs. He featured in over 15 games for the Kings in the next three years but could not do anything to leave an impact. The 2022 auction saw him getting picked by Delhi Capitals and it was again the same story as the team released him after the 2023 season.
#4 Hrithik Shokeen
Hrithik Shokeen impressed the Mumbai Indians’ scout team and thus was picked in the 2022 mega auction for a base price of INR 20 lakhs. In the coming two seasons, the spin all-rounder did not deliver any extraordinary performances but did manage to establish himself as a decent performer who showed good potential and promise.
Given, Mumbai’s transition phase, the youngster was being considered as the next big thing for the franchise. However, the franchise took a harsh call by releasing the young rookie before the 2024 season and Shokeen failed to find any buyers on the auction table to add to his miseries.
The spinner plays for Delhi in the domestic tournaments and has done a decent job in the recent past. However, no team was interested in acquiring his services despite a base price of INR 20 lakhs.
#3 Adil Rashid
There were a few players whose mention in the unsold players list felt completely absurd and Adil Rashid is one such name. The English bowler is regarded as one of the best spinners in the shortest format of the game and it was just one day after the auction that he took the world by storm by becoming the number one bowler in the T20Is.
The World Cup winner was a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last season where he got to play only two matches and picked two wickets at an economy rate of 8.00 and an average of 28. Given his good form in the recent T20 series against West Indies, it was almost certain that Adil would get a call from at least one of the ten teams.
In the five games against the Caribbean team, Rashid scalped nine wickets, often stemming the flow of runs. However, the overseas spinners do not get much attention during the IPL auction and Adil’s exclusion is a testament to the same.
#2 James Neesham
James Neesham has established himself as one of the fine seam all-rounders in international cricket with 824 runs to his name at a strike rate of over 158 and 35 wickets at an average of under 29 in a total of 69 matches for the New Zealand cricket team.
Despite good stats in the shortest format of the game in the international circuit, Neesham could never translate it in the Indian Premier League. Since his debut in 2014, he continued hopping teams after almost every season and played for Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, and Mumbai Indians.
His last IPL outing came in 2021 and he has so far played in 14 IPL matches scoring only 92 runs apart from picking just eight wickets. The Kiwi all-rounder is not expected to add to those numbers soon with franchises focusing on players who could perform a specialized role.
#1 Steve Smith
It is not every day that the world gets to see a world-class batter and a former International and IPL skipper going unsold in an auction. Following his IPL debut in 2012, Smith witnessed a roller-coaster ride where he played for teams like Rajasthan Royals, Pune Super Giants, and Delhi Capitals, leading the Royals to the final of IPL 2017.
Smith has so far featured in a whopping 103 matches smashing 2485 runs at an average of over 34 and a strike rate of over 128. Though the batter had a lukewarm year in his last appearance in 2021, he made up for it by smacking runs for Sydney Sixers in BBL 2022.
However, it was certainly not enough for the IPL franchises as they decided to look past the batter, and with the age catching up on the Australian star, it would not be wrong to assume that his career in the Indian Premier League is now over.