Dealing in crores
A sum total of INR 167 crore was spent by the ten franchises for signing 80 players in the 87 available slots for IPL 2023. The aggregate of INR 167 crore is the highest spent in an IPL mini-auction, surpassing the INR 145.3 crore in 2021. That this was the first mini-auction to feature ten teams contributed to the sum.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were the most active team, having entered the auction with the biggest purse of INR 42.25 crore. They spent INR 35.7 crore on 13 players. Kolkata Knight Riders were on the other side of the spectrum, using INR 5.4 crore out of their purse of INR 7.05 crore for eight players.
Only three teams did not reach their squad limit of 25 players. Mumbai Indians ended up with 24, and Punjab Kings and Knight Riders with 22 each. Kings were the only team that did not reach the limit of eight overseas players, signing seven in all.
Chris Morris held the record of being the most expensive player in the history of the IPL auction, having earned an INR 16.25 crore bid from Rajasthan Royals in 2021. But the figure was breached twice in 15 minutes on Friday afternoon in Kochi.
Kings spent INR 18.5 crore on Sam Curran
to set a new record. Mumbai Indians, the losing bidders on Curran, shelled out INR 17.5 crore for Cameron Green
. Not long later, Ben Stokes was signed for INR 16.25 crore by Chennai Super Kings to equal Morris' fee from the 2021 auction.
Banking on youth
The franchises spent big on the young players, hinting that they would look to groom them into long-term options. Three of the five most expensive picks in the auction were 25 or younger - Curran (INR 18.5 cr), Green (INR 17.5 cr) and Harry Brook (INR 13.25 cr). Green and Brook have not featured in the league before.
Only two of the ten INR 13-plus crore buys at previous auctions were 25 or younger - Ishan Kishan (INR 15.25 crore in 2022 at the age of 23) and Jhye Richardson (INR 14 crore in 2021 at 24). As many as 27 players sold in this auction were younger than 25, and a total of INR 71.1 crore was spent on them.
Brook enters IPL on a high
Brook bagged a whopping INR 13.25 crore from Sunrisers for his maiden IPL contract. The England International is now the most expensive overseas batter in the history of IPL auctions. He broke the record of Chris Lynn, who was signed for INR 9.6 crore in 2018 by the Knight Riders. The price Brook fetched was also the second-highest for a specialist batter in the IPL auction, behind Yuvraj Singh's INR 16 crore.
Yuvraj, a designated allrounder, was registered as a batter for the 2015 auction when he earned the big bid from Delhi Daredevils. Brook is also Sunrisers' most expensive player. Sunrisers, in fact, had spent over INR 10 crore on only two players previously - INR 11 crore on Manish Pandey in 2018 and INR 10.75 crore on Nicholas Pooran in 2022.
Ireland's first and Zimbabwe's return
was signed for INR 4.4 crore by Gujarat Titans - 8.8 times his base price of INR 50 lakh. He became the first Ireland player to earn an IPL contract. In another first, David Wiese
became the first Namibia player to be picked at the IPL auction.
Wiese was earlier part of the IPL as a South Africa player, but the 2023 season will be his first in the league since his switch to Namibia. He is now in a small list of IPL players from Associate nations - Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate (Knight Riders in 2011 and 2014), UAE's Chirag Suri (Gujarat Lions, 2017), Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (Sunrisers, 2017) and Mohammad Nabi (Sunrisers, 2017), and Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane (Daredevils, 2018).
, who enjoyed success in T20Is this year - with seven player-of-the-match awards, was signed by Kings for his base price of INR 50 lakh. He is only the third Zimbabwe player to fetch a bid at an IPL auction after Tatenda Taibu and Brendan Taylor.
Seventh franchise for Pandey and Unadkat
Manish Pandey was signed for INR 2.4 crore by Delhi Capitals, which will be his seventh IPL franchise. Lucknow Supergiants, similarly, will be the seventh IPL team for Jaydev Unadkat, whom they signed for INR 50 lakh.
No Indian player has played for more than six franchises before Pandey and Unadkat. Only one player in the history of the IPL has represented more franchises than this duo - Aaron Finch (9). The 2023 auction was the 11th time Unadkat went into an auction and got sold, the most by any player.
Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo