Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat admitted that he “kind of froze for a while” after learning that he had been sold to the Rajasthan Royals for a jaw-dropping figure of INR 11.5 crores at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which took place in Bangalore over the weekend.
Unadkat, who became the most expensive Indian player sold in the history of the IPL auction, had a base price of INR 1.5 crores, but attracted a lot of attention from the IPL franchises. As a result, a bidding war ensued and his price continued to rise drastically.
Ultimately the Royals secured his services for this year’s tournament after a winning bid of INR 11.5 crores.
Unadkat ended up being the second-most expensive player in the 2018 IPL auction, behind England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was also bought by the Royals for an eye-popping INR 12.5 crores.
“I went blank at that moment. I did not understand what was happening,” he told mid-day. “I was going with the flow and thinking for whom I will get to play for. It was good that I was with my teammates as that tense moment got lightened up a bit. I kind of froze for a while.”
While Unadkat set a base price of INR 1.5 crores for himself, he didn’t have a specific amount he wanted to sell for.
“Honestly, I didn’t have any particular figure in my mind, but I knew there would be many franchises bidding for me since I did well in the last IPL,” he said. “The kind of form that I was in, I knew that teams would bid for me.
“I didn’t want to focus too much on the money part. It is heartening to see that the teams stretched their purse to get me. It was heartening to see the teams having so much confidence in me.”
In the 2017 IPL auction, Unadkat was sold at his base price of INR 30 lakhs to the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants.
He repaid their investment in him by finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 24 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 13.41.
“It didn’t really matter that I was sold for my base price in the last auction,” he said. “I was just hoping to get a chance to play in the last IPL and then do well from there on to prove that I am still capable. That was the aim last year.
“I didn’t even think that I was sold for my base price. It is something very special to have the feeling of being valued at such a price in the IPL.”