December 18, 2018 / 6:07 PM / 8 months ago

Cricket: India paceman Unadkat becomes IPL millionaire for second time

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Seamer Jaydev Unadkat and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy both won contracts worth more than a million dollars at Tuesday’s player auction for the 2019 Indian Premier League twenty20 tournament.

The Rajasthan Royals bought back the 27-year-old Unadkat for 84 million Indian rupees ($1.2 million) at the auction in Jaipur, after letting the left-arm seamer go following this year’s tournament.

They had paid 115 million rupees for Unadkat, who has represented the national team in all three formats, for the IPL this year, making him the most expensive Indian buy in the last edition of the cash-rich tournament.

“It has been an exciting day for us from getting Jaydev back in the team to picking up the talented seamer Oshane Thomas from West Indies,” Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale said in a statement.

“We are very pleased to have filled the gaps in the team that were part of our strategy.”

Kings XI Punjab paid the same amount to bag the services of uncapped Tamil Nadu spinner Chakravarthy, who only had a base price of 2 million rupees.

The 27-year-old started his career as a wicketkeeper-batsman, then took a break from the game to return as a seam-bowling all-rounder. A knee injury forced him to take to spin bowling, and he has only played one first-class game.

“About three years back, I first saw Varun and back then he wasn’t even a spinner so forget about being a mystery spinner,” said former India player Hemang Badani, an expert for broadcaster Star Sports for the auction.

“He is extremely skilled as he can spin with both old and new balls and in fact, he has about 50 percent of his balls as dot balls.”

The 12th edition of the league will be played from March 29 to May 19.

England’s Sam Curran, 20, also became a millionaire after Punjab bid 72 million rupees for the all-rounder. His compatriot Jonny Bairstow will play in the IPL for the first time, with Sunrisers Hyderabad paying 22 million rupees for his services.

Former South Africa batsman Colin Ingram was picked up by the Delhi Capitals for 64 million as the eight franchises spent a total of 1.07 billion rupees ($15.2 million) to buy 40 Indians and 20 overseas players at Tuesday’s auction to put the finishing touches to their squads.

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite went to the Kolkata Knight Riders for 50 million rupees, while batsman Shimron Hetmyer and hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran earned 42 million each.

India’s under-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Prabhsimran Singh turned heads at the auction when the teenager was picked up for a whopping 48 million rupees by Kings XI Punjab.

England’s Alex Hales, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan did not find a team while other notable omissions included Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews, former New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, South Africans Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel and India test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara.

($1 = 70.6360 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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