There were absolute scenes at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru on 12th and 13th February, as we witnessed the mega auction for IPL 2022, and it was nothing less than a thriller. The two action-packed days saw the 10 franchises break their banks to secure 204 top-quality players and strengthen their squads for the upcoming season. Former players heading back home, bittersweet goodbyes, ambitious new additions, and even two auctioneers, we have seen it all.
74 players were bought under the hammer on the opening day, with Ishan Kishan being the most expensive buy of the entire auction - going for a massive 15.25 crore to Mumbai Indians. With 62 crores remaining in our purse, the start of the day saw us securing the first marquee player called out – Ravichandran Ashwin for 5 crores, followed in quick succession by Kiwi quick Trent Boult for 8 crores.
The first two buys had already got the Royals Family glued to their screens. However, it was not too long before we could hear the Calypso play in the background and the RR management swooped in to acquire Caribbean powerhouse Shimron Hetymer for a hefty 8.5 crores.
The RR top order already looked scary after retentions, with Sanju, Jos, and Jaiswal, but little did we know that there was more firepower coming - in the form of former RCB man Devdutt Padikkal. The gifted southpaw has been impressive over the past two years and had even scored a sublime ton against the Royals during IPL 2021 in Mumbai. The very sought-after Padikkal came on board for 7.75 crores.
Next up, the Royals got into a back and forth tussle with the two new franchises, and this was for the very talented Indian speedster Prasidh Krishna, or shall we say ‘Skiddy’. The young quick was the most expensive buy for the Royals - a massive 10 crores - and may very well be tearing through batting line-ups alongside Trent Boult.
‘If bargain buys were an art, Royals would be the Picasso of it’ – (RR Admin). Handing the pink over to YuzvendraChahal for just 6.5 crores is arguably one of the steals of this auction. Having proved how dangerous he can be with his variations and head-turning leggies, the ex-RCB man and Indian international is set to grace the Royals locker room and team up with Ashwin to form a lethal spinning duo.
The Royals closed a rather fruitful day by bringing back home two of our former players – budding future superstar Riyan Parag (3.8 crores) and spin wizard K.C. Cariappa (30 Lakhs).
Day 2 – The teams returned with their purses half full and the Royals started to warm their paddle up with 12.15 crores in the bag. The day started off rather slow for us as we had spent majority of our purse on high-quality first XI players, and still had several slots to fill. In pursuit of the same, bittersweet moments followed as the Royals were forced to bid farewell to some former players like Jofra Archer, Chetan Sakariya, Rahul Tewatia, Mustafizur Rahman & Liam Livingstone - who were a key part of the franchise in recent years.
But things picked up soon after, as Indian quick Navdeep Saini was added to our pace attack for 2.6 crores. To further strengthen the fast bowling department, we successfully bid for Windies death bowling sensation Obed McCoy (75 Lakhs).
Before moving on to the uncapped listings for the day, Karun Nair (1.4 crores) was set for a homecoming and will be donning RR colours yet again after a few years away. We then picked up some superb young Indians, most of who would be making their IPL debut with the Royals – Anunay Singh (20 Lakhs), Kuldeep Sen (20 Lakhs), Dhruv Jurel (20 Lakhs), Tejas Baroka (20 Lakhs), Shubham Garhwal (20 Lakhs). Among this lot, quick left-armer Kuldip Yadav (20 Lakhs) was also welcomed back to the Royals squad.
But this was not the end of it. The Royals had been patient and saved the best for the last. As most teams neared exhaustion of their purses, RR capitalized when the unsold players were being called out again. To everyone\"s delight, the Royals raised the paddle in quick succession in a sensational trolley dash, picking up 4 international stars at base price, in 4 minutes!
James Neehsam (1.5 crores)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (2 crores)
Rassie van der Dussen (1 crore)
Daryl Mitchell (75 Lakhs)
With a perfect mix of youth, experience and different skill sets, the Royals ended this year’s auction with a strong squad and arguably with one of the strongest teams on paper.
Presenting to you the Royals squad ahead of TATA IPL 2022 –
We look forward to an amazing season, with power-packed performances and hopefully the championship. Halla Bol!