Kagiso Rabada’s rising status was enhanced in a sharp bidding war at the IPL auction, when the Delhi Daredevils used their right-to-match card at more than $650,000.
They had watched the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals push the price rapidly from the base price of $240,000 until the Royals dropped out. CSK may have been congratulating themselves when Delhi played their trump card to spend the equivalent of R7.8-million.
Rabada had a quiet run since his debut season last year, which is not surprising given the intensity and culture-shock of the event. He picked up just six wickets in as many matches and gave away 55 runs. But the Daredevils had obviously noted his increasing maturity and penetration.
Quinton de Kock will join his Proteas teammate AB de Villiers at the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the Delhi Daredevils decided to release him.
Delhi could have retained the wicketkeeper-batsman by playing their right-to-match card, but after a short bidding contest between RCB and the Mumbai Indians had taken his price to $437,000, they turned away. De Kock also links up with Virat Kohli as the Challengers attempt to rebuild after finishing last in the 2017 series.
AB de Villiers was retained at a cost of $1.718-million, even though he had a low-key season. He scored only 216 runs in nine matches with an average of 27, hitting only one half-century, and a top score of 89. Nevertheless, such is his aura and potential that he was always safe. Chris Gayle, though, was dropped by the Challengers and no other team was interested.
Chris Morris was earlier announced as a retained player for Delhi Daredevils at $1.718-million, while Faf du Plessis was brought back into the Chennai Super Kings’ fold when they played their right-to-match card at $250,000.
David Miller was sold to Kings XI Punjab at $468,000, but there was no offer for Hashim Amla, who was released by the Kings XI and was unsold in the first round of bidding on Saturday. Imran Tahir, though, went to the Chennai Super Kings for $156,000.
The Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are making a comeback to the league after two years of suspension due to spot-fixing allegations. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja will join MS Dhoni in the Chennai squad. The Royals have retained only Australia captain Steve Smith.