The South Africa allrounder became the most expensive overseas player ever at the auction
(Conversion rates as follows: USD 1 = INR 73 approx; INR 50 lakh = USD 68,000 approx; INR 1 crore = USD 137,000 approx; INR 10 crore = USD 1,370,000 approx)
After a slow start to the proceedings, Maxwell became the day’s first millionaire. Maxwell began at his base price of INR 2 crore and the bids quickly spiralled, with the Royals, the Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders also fighting for his signature.
Then Morris’ name came up and sparked a fierce bidding war – his eventual fee climbing more than 20 times from the base price – involving four different teams, with the Royals eventually beating out the Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians and the Kings to sign him. He had played for the Royals during the 2015 season and was the team’s joint-highest wicket-taker that year with 13 wickets.
Morris overtook Yuvraj Singh (INR 16 crore in 2015), Pat Cummins (INR 15.5 crore in 2020) and Ben Stokes (INR 14.5 crore in 2017) as the costliest buy at an IPL auction, but the Royals believe it was money well spent.
“We did due diligence, he’s an ex-Royal who can deal with a price tag like that,” Jake Lush McCrum, the Royals CEO, said. ” He is a quality bowler through all phases of the game, can win us games with the bat too. We did stretch, that was our last bid, luckily Kings XI held back. Delighted to have him back with the Royals.”
The Royal Challengers also came close to bagging Maxwell’s Australian team-mate Steven Smith, but were eventually beaten out by Delhi Capitals, who signed him for INR 2.2 crore. The Capitals also bolstered their squad with the addition of India quick Umesh Yadav, for INR 1 crore.
Having missed out on Maxwell, the Super Kings did eventually manage to get another allrounder, fighting off bids from the Kings to land England’s Moeen Ali for INR 7 crore.
The Kings also tried to secure Shakib Al Hasan for INR 2.6 crore, but Bangladesh’s premier allrounder was eventually sold for INR 3.2 crore to his former team, the Knight Riders, with whom he won the title in 2012 and 2014.
Mumbai, the most successful IPL team and two-time defending champions, spent most of their purse on boosting their already stellar bowling attack, signing Adam Milne (INR 3.20 crore), Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 5 crore) and Piyush Chawla (INR 2.40 crore). But, with the day’s very last transaction, they landed arguably the biggest surname in Indian cricket.