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PTI

Stylish India international Shreyas Iyer predictably became the highest paid player among the marquee set with Kolkata Knight Riders clinching him for a whopping Rs 12.25 crore after an intense bidding war at the Indian Premier League auction here on Saturday.

India seamer Harshal Patel, who was IPL's top wicket-taker last year, enjoyed a fantastic auction as Royal Challengers Bangalore retained him for Rs 10.75 crore.

Some of the veteran India players like Shikhar Dhawan, bought for Rs 8.25 crore by Punjab Kings, and Mohammed Shami, gone for Rs 6.25 crore to new entrants Gujarat Titans, also enjoyed a good pay day.

Even Ravichandran Ashwin had no reason to complain as he earned a Rs 5 crore deal from Rajasthan Royals.

The young turk who raked in the moolah during the opening session was young left-hander Devdutt Padikkal, who got a Rs 7.75 crore (over USD 1 million) deal with Rajasthan Royals.

Among the foreign players, T20 specialists like West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder (bought for Rs 8.75 crore by Lucknow Supergiants), South Africa speedster Kagiso Rabada (bought for Rs 9.25 crore by Pubjab Kings) and hard-hitting Shimron Hetmyer (bought for Rs 8.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals) all breached the million dollar mark among overseas cricketers.

Iyer's entry in the KKR fold ensures a captaincy candidate for them while the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise also got back their Australian pace spearhead Pat Cummins for half the price at Rs 7.25 crore.

The KKR also managed to secure the services of another core player -- domestic giant and T20 specialist Nitish Rana -- for Rs 8 crore.

Cummins was bought for over Rs 15 crore last time and no wonder CEO Venky Mysore was very pleased with the outcome this time.

"To get back Pat Cummins at that price, we are very, very delighted. We thought he would go higher," Mysore said.

"We could not be happier getting Cummins and Shreyas in the first round itself. Heart beats a bit more properly now, we can now have some fun looking at what else is going on," the KKR CEO added.

While Cummins is a captaincy candidate, he will not be available during the first two weeks even though Mysore didn't want to commit on captaincy.

"As far as captaincy is concerned, that's a decision our coach and the think-tank will take. Certainly, between Cummins and Shreyas, we have solid options for us. I'm sure the think-tank will make the right decisions," he added.

There was lot of demand for Shikhar Dhawan, who has been a great IPL player of late for Delhi Capitals and even though his old franchise bid well, Punjab Kings got Mayank Agarwal's opening partner for the season.

"If you think Shikhar Dhawan is not a game-changer then you are making a big mistake. He is an outstanding player, we would also have been interested," Mohit Burman, co-owner PBKS, said.

"The way he plays at top of the order... if you see his stats and fitness I think he will keep going and going," he added.

 

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