Getting picked in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction is a dream to come true for many upcoming and uncapped players across the globe. But there are quite a few players who have regularly turned up at the IPL auctions without any success.
The price tags, the quality of cricket and the presence of big stars is something that makes IPL a special one in the minds of a majority of the cricketers. In this article, we look at five players who remained unsold in the IPL auctions in the most number of editions.
(Note: There are a lot of players tied on the second spot but in this article, we picked players based on their significance in the list)
Here are the five players who went unsold on most occasions at the IPL auctions:
5. Nathan Lyon – 5 times
Nathan Lyon has always troubled Indian team in the longer format but was equally troubled by the Indian Premier League franchises who have repeatedly turned down the off-spinner at the auction table.
Lyon’s first taste of auction excitement came in 2014 where he went unsold at his base price of 1 crore INR. The story repeated in the auctions for the 2015 and 2016 at the same base price.
The Australian spinner interestingly increased his base price to 1.5 crore INR for the IPL auctions held for the 2017 and 2018 edition. His streak of five consecutive IPL auctions as an unsold player came to an end in the auction for 2019 season where he didn’t enter the auction table. Nathan Lyon is easily the most successful international player in the list of players who went unsold in five different editions and that is why we have mentioned him in this list.
4. Cheteshwar Pujara – 5 times
Among many players who went unsold five or more editions of IPL auctions, Cheteshwar Pujara stands as the only player from India to be part of it. Pujara, the No.3 batsman of India Test XI, featured in the Indian Premier League in all the seasons between 2010 and 2014. His last stint was with Kings XI Punjab in 2014. However, he seemed unfit in that line-up containing Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller.
During a match against Rajasthan Royals in that season, Pujara scored an unbeaten 40 off 38 while opening the inning in a 192-run chase. In the meantime, Maxwell, who batted at No.4, scored a 45-ball 89 and got out. Later Miller smashed 51 from only 19 balls to finish off the chase. Such knock from Pujara didn’t help his stature in the shortest format.
As a result, Pujara failed to earn a bid despite going under the hammer in the auctions for 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions. The longer format specialist fancied his chances in 2018 mega IPL auction but his name didn’t turn up at the auction table. Pujara did enter the auction table for the IPL 2019 and 2020 season but failed to attract a bid from any of the 8 franchises at his base price on both occasions.
3. Vernon Philander – 5 times
Vernon Philander is among the top International stars to go unsold in the IPL auction for as many as five different editions. Philander achieved this embarrassing feat in 2016 where he set his base price as only 50 lakhs which is the lowest base price tag for a capped overseas player. The South African all-rounder might have gutted after this snub and was never on the auction table after this.
Philander either did not register himself or was not shortlisted for the recent auctions. He was part of the 2010 IPL auction as well where his base price was 50,000 USD. Despite the auction being a shorter one, Vernon’s name didn’t turn up on the auction table in the lottery system. He returned to the 2011 IPL auction at the same base price and found no takers.
Philander registered with a base price of 200,000 USD for the 2012 edition expecting a big bid after a sensational start to Test career. He made his Test debut in 2011/12 season and claimed 30 wickets across four Tests. Unfortunately, he found no bid from any of the franchises this time as well. Vernon went unsold in the auctions for the 2013 and 2014 editions also where his base price was 100,000 USD and 1 crore INR respectively.
2. Darren Bravo – 5 times
Quite a few pair of brothers being successful in the Indian Premier League but the Bravo brothers from the Caribbean had contrasting careers in the league. Dwayne Bravo has been a strong performer during his stints with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. However, his younger brother, Darren Bravo, has found it tough to go through the auction process itself.
The left-handed batsman managed to find a bid in the auctions for the 2012 and 2017 editions with Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. He went unsold despite coming onto the table in four consecutive seasons between his stints with DC and KKR. Bravo went unsold in the IPL auctions for the 2011 editions as well and couldn’t make it to the auction table in 2010.
Reason for picking up Darren Bravo among many players tied on the second spot is due to the fact that he was unsold in the first round auction in both the auctions where he found a bid. He remained unsold despite being twice on the table in 2014 as well. Bravo had success in the CPL with the KKR’s sister franchise but that wasn’t enough for him to return to the league. He was not even among the shortlisted players for the recently held auction.
1. Martin Guptill – 6 times
New Zealand’s Martin Guptill is well known for his big-hitting skills and his top record in limited-overs cricket. But the IPL franchises have always been doubtful over his ability to play in India. Guptill has often struggled while playing on the Indian soil, a fact turned against him in the view of franchises. Guptill failed to attract any bids in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 despite being on the auction table.
He turned up twice at the auction table in the 2018 IPL auctions but no franchise showed interest in bagging him. After going unsold in the recent most auction held last month for the 2020 edition, Guptill became the first player to remain unsold in the IPL auctions for six different seasons. The opening batsman was brought to auction table in 8 editions but could earn bids only twice.
The first time he was picked in an IPL auction was for the 2017 edition by the Kings XI Punjab at his base price of 50 lakhs INR. For the 2019 season, Guptill was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for his base price of 1 crore INR. The right-hander was picked by SRH in the 2nd round auction as he went unsold in the first round. Guptill did feature in 2016 and 2018 editions of the IPL for Mumbai Indians as he was signed as a replacement.
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