The players auction for the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on 6 February witnessed some of the fiercest bidding from the eight franchises who didn't shy away from splurging big bucks to secure the services of their desired cricketers.
While the veteran cricketers managed to hit the jackpot, the uncapped players also had a lot to cheer for. Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was the most expensive pick in the auction after being sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 9.5 crore.
On the other hand, budding talent Pawan Negi turned out to be the biggest story this year. The 23-year-old former Chennai Super Kings player will don the jersey of Delhi Daredevils who didn't hesitate to shell out Rs 8.5 cr for the player.
South African Chris Morris and Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh were also one amongst hot picks with both the players bagging Rs 7 crore each from Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Indian seamers Mohit Sharma (Rs 6.50 cr) and Ashish Nehra (Rs 5.5 cr) were also not far behind.
But, while these cricketers were busy rejoicing their potential paychecks, a lot of prominent stars were left heartbroken. Here's a look at the top five international cricketers who failed to find suitors in the IPL this year:
George Bailey (Base price Rs 1 cr)
The Australian batsmen George Bailey is the biggest miss at the IPL auction this year. Having played for Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab, the right-hander would surely have been a valuable addition to any franchise for his vast experience in the tournament.
The recent changes in his technique helped the 33-year-old to come good during India's tour of Australia. Bailey slammed a match-winning 112 during the Perth ODI, while he followed it up with a blazing 76 in the second match in Brisbane.
Apart from the international scene, he also appeared fluent in his innings for Hobart Hurricanes in the recently-concluded Big Bash League (BBL). At a base price of Rs 1 crore, the franchises could have utilised his skills and expertise in the IPL.
David Hussey (Base price INR 1 cr)
The younger brother of Michael Hussey, David, was also part of the unsold cricketers' list in the IPL auction this year. The right-handed batsman has been in good touch lately, especially in the BBL where his side Melbourne Stars lost in the tournament final.
The 38-year-old, who has played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings in the past, is also well versed with the conditions in the IPL. His presence would have surely strengthened the middle-order of either of the eight franchises, who eventually thought otherwise.
Darren Sammy (Base price Rs 50 lakh)
The West Indies all-rounder, Darren Sammy, must have been disheartened after failing to find a bid from the eight franchises in this year's IPL auction. The right-hander was been busy plying his trade in the recently-concluded BBL for Hobart Hurricanes.
A valuable middle-order batsman and a handy bowler, the 32-year-old is capable to changing the course of the game. Apart from his batting might and bowling prowess, Sammy also boasts great leadership qualities that saw him attain the captaincy of Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014.
At a base price of just Rs 50 lakhs, the former West Indies captain should have fetched a bid, at least.
Rilee Rossouw (Base price Rs 1 cr)
A stylish top-order batsman with an elegant and authoritative drive, South Africa's Rilee Rossouw has proved his worth in the shortest version of the game. The left-hander has previously played for Royal Challengers Bangalore when he replaced Nic Maddinson in the Vijay Mallya-owned franchise in IPL 2014.
The 26-year-old has a knack of scoring runs at a quick pace which should have probably made him a potential buy in the IPL auction this year. However, at a base price of Rs 1 crore, none of the franchises were convinced to bid for the South African batsman.
Michael Hussey (Base price Rs 2 cr)
Another veteran Australian star Michael Hussey ended up in the wrong list despite his recent exploits in the shortest version of the game. The 40-year-old led his spirited-side Sydney Thunder to their maiden BBL title win earlier this year.
Hussey smashed 306 runs and was also among the top five leading scorers in the BBL season this season. Having finished last or second-last in its first four BBL seasons, Sydney Thunder were able to make their maiden final appearance count under the reigns of Hussey.
Though Hussey's management had announced that he would not putting his name forward to play in the IPL, but who knows, with a lucrative offer on the table, Mr. Cricket might have considered the option of enthralling Indian fans.