Australia batsman Steve Smith on Wednesday was picked by Delhi Capitals in the ongoing mini-auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
RCB and Delhi Capitals both showed interest in Smith, and in the end, the former Australia skipper was picked up by Delhi for Rs 2.2 crore. Earlier, Smith was released by Rajasthan Royals prior to the mini-auction.
Karun Nair who had his base price as Rs 50 lakh did not find any takers and he went unsold quite early in the auction. England batters Alex Hales and Jason Roy who had their base price as Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively also did not find any takers and he also went unsold.
West Indies batsman Evin Lewis and Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch also went unsold in the auction. India middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari also did not find any takers as set 1 in the auction came to an end.
The IPL "mini-auction" this year would witness 291 players going under the hammer as England pacer Mark Wood withdrew from the auction at the end moment. All these cricketers have been shortlisted by the eight franchises. A total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas players, and 3 players from associate nations are up for grabs in the mini-auction.
Rs 2 crore is the highest reserve price and two Indian players - Harbhajan Singh and Kedar Jadhav - and eight overseas players - Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, and Mark Wood chose to be slotted in the highest bracket.
However, right on the eve of the auction, England pacer Wood decided to withdraw his name in order to spend time with his family, reported ESPNcricinfo.
12 players are on the auction list with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Hanuma Vihari and Umesh Yadav are the two Indian players in the list of 11 cricketers with a base price of Rs 1 crore.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals retained 19 players including six overseas stars while six players including Alex Carey, Jason Roy, and Sandeep Lamichhane were released from the squad for the 2021 edition of the IPL. The players who were retained by the franchise from last season include Indian internationals Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, and Ravichandran Ashwin, along with Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, and Avesh Khan.
Delhi Capitals had also retained six overseas players which include last season's Purple Cap winner Kagiso Rabada, along with his South African pace partner Anrich Nortje, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer, and English bowler Chris Woakes.
Retained players: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes.
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