Morris becomes most expensive signing in IPL auction history
Published: 05:51 PM, 18 February 2021
Chris Morris became the most expensive signing in IPL history on Thursday (February 18) with Rajasthan Royals forking out INR 16.25 Crore for the South African all-rounder at the 2021 auction. The signing amount surpassed the INR 16 Crore that Delhi Daredevils paid for Yuvraj Singh in 2015 - the previous record for a player signed at the auction.
The Royals entered the bid battle only at INR 10.25 Crore after Mumbai Indians appeared to have wrested the player from his previous employer - Royal Challengers Bangalore. Instead, the Royals had to contend with another new bidder - the Punjab Kings - who entered at INR 13.50 Crore and went all the way until INR 16 crore before pulling out.
The 33-year-old Morris has previously been a part of Rajasthan Royals in the 2015 season when he scored 311 runs and took 13 wickets from 11 games. In all, he has scored 551 runs at a strike-rate of 157.88 and taken 80 wickets at an economy of 7.81 from 70 IPL games. Morris was an integral member of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side last season even though an abdominal injury curtailed his participation to nine games. He took 11 wickets at an economy of 6.63. He hasn't played competitive cricket since.
Before Morris added INR 6.25 crores to his last year's salary and shattered records along the way, Glenn Maxwell earned his biggest payday at an IPL Auction after RCB won a protracted bidding war with Chennai Super Kings to sign the all-rounder for INR 14.25 crore. The signing amount was nearly INR 4 crores more than what the Australian earned (INR 10.75cr) from Punjab Kings last season.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals began the bidding for Maxwell's services but very soon it became apparent that the profile of the player was in line with the all-rounder deficiency in the RCB and CSK squads. This will be Maxwell's fourth different franchise in the IPL having previously played for the Mumbai, Punjab and Delhi franchises.
While Maxwell is an integral member of Australia's T20I squad, used regularly in the top four, he has blown hot and cold in the IPL. His tally of 552 runs at 187.75 SR was instrumental in Punjab's run to the final of the 2014 season. But subsequent seasons have seen his output drop substantially. Having returned to Punjab last year, he managed a total of 108 runs from 13 games, failing to hit a single six along the way.
Having lost out one of their primary targets, CSK saw off Punjab's challenge to sign former RCB all-rounder Moeen Ali for INR 7 crore. Shivam Dube was the only Indian player signed in the first session of the auction, with the Royals picking him up for INR 4.4 crore.