CHENNAI: South African all-rounder Chris Morris on Friday surpassed Yuvraj Singh to become the most expensive buy in the IPL auction history with Rajasthan Royals shelling out Rs 16.25 crore for his services after a bidding war here.
Morris’ big pay day came after another all-rounder and perennial underperformer, Australian Glenn Maxwell, once again managed to attract a winning Rs 14.25 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Punjab Kings, who went into the auction with the maximum purse among eight teams, paid Rs 14 crore to rope in Australian pacer Jhye Richardson hoping he will plug the gap in their leaking bowling department.
The 24-year-old, who has played two Tests, 13 ODIs and nine T20Is for Australia, was the leading wicket-taker in the recent Big Bash League.
Morris, who came with a base price of Rs 75 lakh, generated bids from four teams before it became a battle between Royals and Punjab Kings.
Royals eventually sealed it with a record bid which made Morris the costliest buy at the auction ever, surpassing Yuvraj Singh,
who was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 16 crore in 2015.
The costliest player in the IPL remains Virat Kohli, retained for Rs 17 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In 70 IPL games, Morris has scored 551 runs at 23.95 and taken 80 wickets at 23.98.
Talking about why Royals went all out on Morris, team COO Jake Luch McCrum said: “We actually spoke to Chris before the auction itself, and did a full medical review of him. He’s in a bubble in South Africa now, about to play the domestic competition.
“Chris is an ex -Royal, and he’s one of those players with experience and who can deal with a price tag like that. We’ve rebalanced the side this year, he will fill in an important role for us.
“He is a quality bowler through all phases of the game, and also he can win us the game with the bat as well.”