England’s Moeen Ali has been sold to Chennai Super Kings for £700,000 in the opening round of the 2021 Indian Premier League Auction as South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris fetched a record £1.6million bid by Rajasthan Royals.
Moeen, who has departed the England squad in India following the second Test to take up a pre-determined period of rest, found himself at the centre of a battle between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai for his services.
The 33-year-old, who had spent the past two years with Royal Challengers Bangalore, fills the Super Kings’ final overseas spot and will join England team-mate Sam Curran at the IPL franchise when the competition takes place from April to June.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) February 18, 2021
England batsman Dawid Malan, number one in the world Twenty20 rankings, is set to play for Punjab following a successful bid of almost £150,000.
England all-rounder Tom Curran was purchased by Delhi Capitals for a fee of almost £520,000.
Liam Livingstone, part of England’s Twenty20 squad for the tour of India next month, fetched £74,000 from Rajasthan Royals and Sam Billings heads to Delhi Capitals for £197,000.
However, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, spinner Adil Rashid and 2019 World Cup winner Liam Plunkett all went unsold.
How's that for numbers 💥💥
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 18, 2021
Australian Steve Smith, not retained by the Rajasthan Royals, was the first player sold in the auction, to Delhi Capitals for £220,000, while batsman Glenn Maxwell will join Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.4m.
New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson is also set for Bangalore, who paid out another big price tag of £1.48m, and Australian Jhye Richardson joins Punjab Kings at £1.38m.
Eight English players – including white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler – were retained by their respective franchises ahead of the 2021 tournament.
Bowler Mark Wood, however, had requested to be withdrawn from consideration for the auction as he did not want to spend more time away from his family.
Reflecting on the IPL auction, Bairstow said: “The qualities Mo has are worth every penny and it really is fantastic to see him go for that amount.
“You can’t necessarily compare individuals, it goes on the balance of what teams are looking for.
“Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Kyle Jamieson have all fetched over one million US dollars (£716,000).
“If they want to fill a certain role, they will be going for you no matter what.”