MI Cape Town coach Simon Katich was left disappointed after failing to buy Tristan Stubbs at the SA20 auction on Monday.
The 22-year-old batsman, who made his IPL and Proteas T20I debut this year, had a base price of R175,000, which quickly shot up to R8-million as MI Cape Town, the Sunrisers Eastern Cape, Joburg Super Kings and Paarl Royals all bid for him.
MI Cape Town and Sunrisers Eastern Cape were left fighting for him at the end, with the latter’s bid of R9.2m proving to be the final one.
It made Stubbs the most expensive player at the auction.
“I’ve got two sons at home and I feel like I have a third son here, in Tristan,” said Katich. “That’s how much we enjoyed working together at The Hundred [with the Manchester Originals], but we knew some of the big teams [in SA20] have budgets.
“Obviously, he is with Mumbai in the IPL so there’s that connection but, ultimately, the biggest purse won now.
“He is a special talent, that’s why we went so hard for him. We took a long-term approach to this as we knew the local talent is going to be in high demand and there’s plenty of them around.”