IPL Auctions: Chris Morris Becomes Most Expensive Player

South Africa’s Chris Morris became the most expensive player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when Rajasthan Royals (RR) bought the all-rounder for INR 16.25 crore at the mini players’ auction in Chennai on Thursday.

Morris surpassed Yuvraj Singh’s price of INR 16 crore when Delhi Daredevils had bought the former Indian all-rounder ahead of IPL 2015. The third-most expensive player in IPL is Australia’s fast bowler Pat Cummins, who was bagged by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for INR 15.5 crore in 2020.

The 33-year-old Proteas player made his IPL debut during the 2013 edition with Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He missed the following year before making his comeback in the tournament in 2016 when he was signed by RR.

His first stint with Rajasthan had lasted only for a year before he made his way to Delhi Capitals (DC). After spending three years at Delhi, he was roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2020.

In the previous IPL season, playing for RCB, Morris picked 11 wickets but had performed poorly with the bat, scoring 34 runs in five innings. As a result, he was released by the franchise. Overall, having played in seven seasons, Morris has claimed 80 wickets in 70 IPL matches at an economy of 7.81, while he has scored 551 runs at a strike rate above 157.

On Thursday, during the mini auction, Morris entered the race with a base price of INR 75 lakh. Mumbai Indians (MI) opened the bidding with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) joining in. The intense bidding war then welcomed RR and Punjab Kings before RCB pulled out when the price went up to close to INR 10 crore. Eventually, RR beat MI to secure Morris at INR 16.25 crore.

In a conversation with Star Sports, two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir expressed concern over RR’s choice to spend such a hefty amount on Morris, who according to Gambhir does not have the x-factor any more.

“I didn’t expect him to go for that much money because he has not played international cricket, I can understand Maxwell, he played well against India during the Australia tour in the T20 format. Morris, I don’t know if he is anymore an X-factor, he does bowl, he does bat a little bit at No.7 or No. 8. He could be a back-up for someone like Ben Stokes. But 16.25 crore, now there will be a lot of pressure on him to deliver.

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