Utter chaos as PBKS buy wrong player in IPL auction, auctioneer denies reversal | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Utter chaos as PBKS buy wrong player in IPL 2024 auction, denied reversal by auctioneer Mallika Sagar; video viral

Dec 20, 2023 11:44 AM IST

IPL 2024 auction: PBKS wanted to cancel bid for Shashank Singh after the hammer went down but auctioneer Mallika Sagar denied the request.

If you are an uncapped player, landing an IPL deal is one of the biggest shots in the arm. When crores of rupees are spent on some of the biggest stars of international cricket in an IPL auction, all you want is any of the 10 teams to show interest in you. Seeing the paddle raised when your name is up for grabs in the auction is the stuff of dreams for any young cricketer. But not for Shashank Singh. Things may be a bit different for the Chattisgarh cricketer. Despite finding a bidder in the IPL 2024 auction, Shashank is unlikely to be on cloud nine. The reason? The side - Punjab Kings - which bought him in the auction in Dubai on Tuesday, did not want him to be a part of their squad. Then why did they bid for him?

IPL auctioneer Mallika Sagar and PBKS co-owner Preity Zinta
IPL auctioneer Mallika Sagar and PBKS co-owner Preity Zinta

Stop rolling your eyes, we'll make it easier for you to understand.

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Unusual things are usual in IPL auctions. Confusion regarding player sums during a bidding war, bids taken back, and unsold players brought back in the auction pool multiple times have happened before. But what transpired during Shashank's bidding was rare.

How did PBKS buy Shashank Singh in IPL 2024 auction?

In the accelerated part of the auction, PBKS were desperate to rope in uncapped Indian cricketers. They got Ashutosh Sharma and Vishwanath Pratap Singh at their respective base price of 20 lakh. Then came Shashank's turn. PBKS co-owner Preity Zinta raised the paddle after a brief discussion with the rest of her team members. After receiving the opening bid, auctioneer Mallika Sagar followed the routine procedure. There were no other teams to better PBKS' bid for Shashank. Mallika gave a "fair warning" to all the franchises before putting the hammer down to confirm another purchase for PBKS.

Then, the auctioneer moved on to the last player in the set of uncapped all-rounders - Tanay Thyagrajan. It was at that point, the cameras turned to the PBKS table where there was a lot of chaos. Another PBSK co-owner, Ness Wadia, head coach Trevor Bayliss and others seemed confused. Wadia and Zinta raised their hands to signal to the auctioneer.

"It was a wrong name? You don't want the player?" asked Mallika. "We are talking about Shashank Singh. But the hammer has come down. Player No. 236 and 237 both went to you."

Wadia then seemed to be informing the auctioneer that they mistakenly bid for Shashank but Mallika was adamant. "I think the hammer has come down for 237 (Shashank) as well."

PBKS had no option but to be satisfied with a player they perhaps did not intend to buy at the auction.

What confused PBKS?

There is no official word but it may have been the classic case of mistaken identity. There were two Shashank Singhs in the IPL 2024 auction. The other one was a 19-year-old youngster who is yet to play first-class cricket. He too had the same base price of 20 lakh but unlike the one PBKS bought, this teenager is a bowling all-rounder.

Who is Shashank Singh, the one PBKS bought?

The Shashank Singh that PBKS bought is a 32-year-old batting all-rounder who has been a part of franchises like Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He made his debut last year and went on to play 10 matches for SRH without much of an impact. He managed to score only 69 runs at a strike rate of 146 in the entire season and was subsequently released by the franchise.

The right-handed batter, who also bowls handy off-spin has a pretty good List A record playing for Chattisgarh. He has 986 runs in 27 innings at an impressive average of 41.08 scored at a strike rate of 109.55. In T20s, his strike rate is 135.83.

DC survive a ‘Sumeet’ scare

PBKS were not the only ones bidding for the wrong player in IPL 2024 auctions. Delhi Capitals, who wanted to bid for Sumit Kumar, ended up placing a bid for Sumeet Verma but Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting were quick to rectify their mistake and they immediately informed the auctioneer. DC were allowed to take the bid back as the hammer hadn't gone down.

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