Australian pair Steve Smith and David Warner were among those who landed the maximum £125,000 pay day at The Hundred draft.
But who were the bargains as the eight city-based franchises selected their squads for next year’s debut edition of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s 100-ball tournament?
Here, the PA news agency looks at five signings who went under the radar but could make a big impact next summer.
Liam Plunkett (Welsh Fire, £50,000)
The 34-year-old seamer was picked up by the Cardiff-based franchise after nominating himself at the lowest price of any World Cup winner. Plunkett is a white-ball specialist, capable of bowling accurate spells and striking crucial runs down the order. Took three wickets in England’s 50-over World Cup final win and has has made over 100 appearances for his country in ODI and T20 formats.
Adam Zampa (Birmingham Phoenix, £40,000)
Spinners were much sought after in the draft. Rashid Khan was the first pick as the Trent Rockets splashed £125,000 on the Afghanistan leg-spinner and Sunil Narine, Imran Tahir and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were also picked up for the maximum amount. But leg-spinner Zampa, with his subtle changes of pace and variation, is a shrewd signing at £40,000. He was Australia’s top wicket-taker at the 2016 World T20 and has shone for Essex in domestic cricket.
Dawid Malan (Trent Rockets, £40,000)
The hard-hitting Middlesex batsman was snapped up by the Nottingham-based franchise. Malan showed his class by smashing 78 from 44 balls in a 2017 T20 international against South Africa – the highest T20 innings by an England debutant. Although he has since slipped out of the England reckoning, his ability to dominate attacks in domestic competition, as well as contribute part-time leg spin, made him an attractive option in the draft.
Luke Wright (Trent Rockets, £30,000)
Sussex all-rounder Wright will join Malan at Trent Bridge on the latest leg of a well-travelled career. The 34-year-old has played domestic T20 tournaments in Australia, India and Pakistan with his clean striking, bustling medium-pace and athletic fielding in demand all over the world. Although he has never played Test cricket, Wright has made 50 ODIs and 51 T20 appearances for England and brings a wealth of experience to the Rockets.
Jade Dernbach (London Spirit, £30,000)
A post shared by Jade Dernbach (@jadedernbach) on Oct 21, 2019 at 12:13am PDT
The 33-year-old Surrey seamer will move north across the Thames to play his cricket at Lord’s during The Hundred. Dernbach has built up a reputation as a skilled death bowler with slower balls, yorkers, bouncers and 90 miles per hour deliveries all in his armoury. He has made 24 ODI and 34 T20 appearances for England, and his selection in the final round minimum £30,000 category appears a snip for Shane Warne’s London Spirit.