The IPL auction in Dubai on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, witnessed frenzied bidding, showcasing the financial prowess of the Indian Premier League.

Notably, two of the IPL’s most expensive buys ever came from this auction, underscoring the league’s ability to turn emerging stars into millionaires.

In a remarkable turn of events at the auction, uncapped Indian cricketers Sameer Rizvi, Shubham Dubey, and Kumar Kushagra emerged as surprise high-value acquisitions, sparking intense bidding wars among franchises.

Sameer Rizvi (CSK, Rs 8.4 crore/Rs 84 million)

Rizvi made a mark in the recent UP T20 League, accumulating 455 runs in nine innings for Kanpur Superstars, featuring two centuries.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he displayed his prowess with 18 sixes, averaging one in every 11 balls faced. With 11 T20 matches, Rizvi tallied 295 runs at an impressive average of 49.16.

Further, he excelled in the Men’s Under-23 State A tournament, contributing two fifties and two hundreds, including a 50-ball 84 in the final, leading Uttar Pradesh to victory. Rizvi topped the tournament in sixes with 37 6s.

Rizvi entered the auction with a base price of Rs 20 lakh and quickly ignited a bidding duel between the Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans, swiftly reaching Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million).

The spirited competition continued, and as CSK and Titans pushed the bid past Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million), a late challenge from Delhi Capitals emerged. Ultimately, CSK secured Rizvi with a winning bid of Rs 8.4 crore.

Kumar Kushagra (Delhi Capitals, Rs 7.2 crore/Rs 72 million)

Jharkhand’s promising wicketkeeper-batter, Kumar Kushagra, started with a base price of Rs 20 lakh and garnered immediate interest from CSK and GT, with DC entering the fray. The bidding escalated rapidly, surging over 25 times and surpassing the Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) mark within minutes.

The intense competition continued, reaching beyond Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million), concluding with the Capitals successfully acquiring the young ‘keeper for a substantial Rs 7.2 crore.

At 19, Kushagra was the sixth-highest run-scorer in the recent Deodhar Trophy, tallying 227 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 109.13. He played a key role in East Zone’s final, contributing a crucial fifty.

In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, his brisk 37-ball 67 guided his team to chase 355 runs against Maharashtra.

Part of India’s U-19 World Cup squad in 2020, Kushagra was the youngest to score 250 or more in a first-class innings with a double hundred against Nagaland in the Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal.

Shubham Dubey (Rajasthan Royals, Rs 5.8 crore/Rs 58 million)

Shubham Dubey — not to be confused with CSK’S Shivam Dube) — entered the auction with a base price of Rs 20 lakh, initiated a bidding war with Delhi making the opening bid. The Rajasthan Royals quickly joined, escalating the bid to Rs 1 crore.

Dubey, yet to make his IPL debut, plays for Vidarbha in domestic cricket, boasting a commendable T20 record with 485 runs in 20 games at a strike rate of 145.

As an adept left-hander, Dubey excelled as a finisher, notably in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, scoring 221 runs in seven matches at a striking rate of 187. His impactful performance, including a stellar 58 off 20 balls against Bengal, attracted strong interest.

Both Delhi and Royals closely monitored Dubey in the auction, propelling the bid past the Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) mark. The spirited bidding intensified, driving Dubey’s price to more than 20 times his starting amount, ultimately surpassing the Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million) mark.

In a determined effort, Royals secured Dubey for a substantial Rs 5.8 crore.

Robin Minz (Gujarat Titans, Rs 3.6 crore/Rs 36 million)

Jharkhand’s emerging cricketer started the IPL auction with a base bid of Rs 20 lakh from CSK, attracting Mumbai Indians into competitive bidding.

The powerful 21-year-old left-hand batter-wicket-keeper — the son of a guard at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda airport — finally secured a significant deal with the Titans for Rs 3.6 crore, surpassing expectations.

Sushant Mishra was also picked by the Titans for Rs 2.20 crore (Rs 22 million), adding to the excitement of the IPL 2024 auction.

The auction also witnessed keen interest in uncapped fast bowlers, with Yash Dayal and Kartik Tyagi receiving substantial bids. Shahrukh Khan joined Gujarat Titans for Rs 7.40 crore (Rs 74 million).

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