02/03/2024

Tim David contract was one of the many surprises of this years IPL auction (photo: cricket.com.au)

Another IPL auction has come and gone, and with it, 11 Australians have been selected for this year's tournament. Where will Australia's stars be lining up this season?

Another IPL auction has come and gone, with franchises spending tens of millions of dollars on the very best players in the world with their eyes on the 2022 trophy.

A total of 47 Australian’s put themselves in the super auction, with just 11 finding a home for this year’s tournament.

There were major snubs, serious steals, and a couple of incredible surprises during the two days, with the auction ending as one of the most entertaining in history.

It was however two days long, and with over 500 participants it was very easy to miss even the best players getting put up for sale.

To make it a bit easier to decide what team you want to support this season, or who your favourites picked up, here is a review of the biggest Australian sales and snubs of the 2022 IPL auction.

Biggest Snubs

Adam Zampa

Most Recent Franchise: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Unsold Base Price: $377,000

There is a reason that Adam Zampa has been Australia’s T20i leading spin bowler for many years, it is because he is exceptionally good. An average of just above 20 from his near 60 matches and an economy of under seven depicts just how great he is and has become in recent years.

This form has translated over to the IPL in the past, with the leg spinner averaging just 18 per wicket over his three years in the competition.

When it came auction time this weekend many thought that he would at least attract a bid as one of the leading leg-spinners in the world. However, his name came and went, leaving him without a contract for this edition.

Whilst surprising, there may be genuine reasons why the ten franchises opted to pass on him.

His base price of $377,000 was quite high, whilst the push over the last few seasons for bowlers to also have the ability to regularly score lower-order runs does hurt him.

The fact that there are so many Indian spin bowlers also vying for a spot means that franchises need to think hard about whether they are willing to use an international spot on a player like Zampa.

His lack of variation likely also put teams off, rather opting for mystery spinners who have played much of their cricket in sub-continent conditions.

Steve Smith

Most Recent Franchise: Dehli Capitals

Unsold Base Price: $377,000

Former Australian captain Steven Smith has been a regular in the IPL since he first debuted in 2012, scoring 2485 runs over his 103 matches.

Just a few years ago the batter was captaining his beloved Rajasthan Royals side. Now he finds himself without a contract for the 2022 edition.

Whilst this may come as a surprise to some, the warning signs have been there for the last 12 months that there was always a chance that this would occur.

The 2021 tournament was his worst to date, averaging just 25 with a concerningly low strike rate of just 112.

It hasn’t just been in the IPL where his form has dipped, when playing the format for Australia he has struggled to make an impact, whilst his Test form has left much to be desired.

His base price of $375,000 was always going to be a stretch, especially considering the amount of talented T20 batters that were also available.

2021 may not be the last time that we will ever see Smith in the IPL, however, he may need to consider dropping his base price if he wants a future in the competition.

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Biggest Surprises

Josh Hazlewood

Franchise: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Sold Price: $1.4 million

In our preview of the auction, we predicted that Josh Hazlewood would be in line for a large IPL contract. Even we didn’t think that it would be this big.

A bidding war for the New South Welshman would earn him a contract worth $1.4 million with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

This is larger than the contracts of David Warner, Mitch Marsh, and Pat Cummins, whilst only being smaller than that of Tim David, the surprise packet of the entire thing.

The pace bowler’s 4/12 as the SCG only the night before the auction certainly didn’t hurt his cause, whilst his previous IPL with Chennai and the World Cup proved that he could deliver in the format overseas.

He now enters the competition as one of the highest-paid fast bowlers, something that is especially impressive considering his very limited ability with the bat in this format.

He now joins fellow Australians Glenn Maxwell and Jason Behrendorff in the RCB squad, where he will be the team’s fifth-highest earner.

Tim David

Franchise: Mumbai Indians

Sold Price: $1.5 million

When Tim David’s name was called at the auction many Australian’s didn’t see him commanding a contract much higher than his base price of just $75,000. They were clearly wrong.

The Singaporean Australian was at the centre of an all-out bidding war, eventually landing himself a $1.5 million contract with the Mumbai Indians.

It’s been a strange few seasons for the all-rounder, who was delisted by Western Australia just three years ago before finding a home as a finisher for Hobart over the past few BBL seasons.

He has quietly been plying his trade overseas during the Australian off-season, finding success in such leagues as the PSL and the Vitality Blast.

Whilst he has always had a solid average, it is his strike rate that had all of the franchises waiving around their chequebooks.

David had the highest strike rate of anyone in the BBL who scored over 100 runs this season, whilst also sitting second in the same category during the PSL.  

This isn’t even mentioning his strike rate of 158 in international cricket for Singapore, the third-highest in history.

Add the fact that he can throw down some handy off-breaks and it makes sense why franchises were keen to get the big all-rounder.

Daniel Sams

Franchise: Mumbai Indians

Sold Price: $483,500

It has been a huge few years for the big all-rounder, going from a relatively unknown BBL player a few years ago to the centre of an IPL bidding war.

The New South Welshman has played in two previous seasons of the competition, including just the five games.


His statistics don’t exactly scream half a million-dollar player, averaging 153 with the ball and three with the bat.

It is however clear just how good the all-rounder can be, with him dominating the BBL with bat and ball over the last few seasons for the Sydney Thunder.

That ability to win a match on both ends is the exact type of player that IPL franchises are after, so it is hardly a surprise that he was picked up by someone.

Considering that he was signed for under $50,000 in the last two editions it does make this years contract stand out, and proves that he may be in for a bigger role this year with his new franchise the Mumbai Indians.

He joins the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, and Tim David, with the all-rounder likely to play far more games this year compared to his previous two campaigns.

Biggest Steals

David Warner

Franchise: Delhi Capitals

Sold Price: $1.1 million

Whilst $1.1 is still a sizeable amount of money, many thought that David Warner would command much more at this year’s auction.

After a disappointing 2021 season where he was dumped by Sunrisers Hyderabad as their captain mid-season before getting totally cast aside after seven years with the franchise, many questioned how he would recover.

A player of the tournament award and a T20 World Cup medal within the next few months would prove the doubters wrong, with the opener heading into this year’s auction as one of the most hyped-up players.

Whilst he was still able to collect over a million dollars, there wasn’t quite the bidding war that many may have expected.

Considering some of the best players in this year’s edition eclipsed $2 million contracts, it was a bit surprising that he was only able to garner approximately half of this.

He now re-joins the Dehli Capitals, The franchise where he started his IPL career back when they were the Daredevils. He will join fellow Australians Ricky Ponting who coaches the franchise along with Australia’s T20 World Cup hero Mitch Marsh and star Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Nathan Coulter-Nile

Franchise: Rajasthan Royals

Sold Price: $377,000

The big Western Australian all-rounder was able to collect $372,000 dollars at the IPL auction, with the Rajasthan Royals picking him up at his base price.

Whilst this is a large amount of money, it pales in comparison to the figures that he has seen since he debuted in the competition during the 2013 season.  

So much so that it is just a quarter of what he earned in each of his last two seasons, both of which he spent with the Mumbai Indians.

His record in the IPL proves how much of a steal this purchase may be, with the fast bowler having an average of 22 with the ball over his 38 IPL matches.

There are however a few clear reasons why his price has dropped, the main one being his past record with injuries.

The Western Australian hasn’t been able to play a full campaign despite being in the league for several years, with similar occurrences often happening in the BBL.

You only have to look back to January this year when Coulter-Nile injured his hamstring after bowling three overs at the MCG to see that these issues still regularly plague him.

His high base price also didn’t give franchises a lot of room to manoeuvre, something that became apparent when he was bought at base price.  

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