The India team watches the money grow together


At around 5pm, Ishan Kishan posted a ‘velfie’ from a room balcony at the Team India hotel in Ahmedabad after he was picked up by Mumbai Indians for a whopping Rs 15.25 crores. “Thank you owners and management for having faith in me,” he says in the clip. Kishan was with the main management man during the auction; he was in rohit sharma‘s room, along with Suryakumar Yadav, who had already been hired by MI. Also in the room were other members of the India T20 team: Shreyas Iyer, yuzvendra chahalShardul Thakur and Rishabh pants.

Sharma had shared a photo on Instagram of the players sitting on a large sofa, glued to the proceedings. Titled ‘Some tense and some happy faces’, with a trail of two emojis: one tense and the other with a happy face. He concisely captured the emotional day for the players.

The group watched the live broadcast of two big paychecks: Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, who was the first to exceed Rs 10 crore when Rajasthan Royals got it for Rs 12.5 crore. Pant’s team, Delhi Capitals, was one of the bidders for Iyer, but ultimately failed. Inside, Sharma’s room, hugs and high fives were exchanged by the two crorepati greats before the fall of auctioneer Hugh Edmeades caused a breakup and a change of plans for the players.

They had a flight to catch in Calcutta where India, who won the ODI leg of the series 3-0, will face the West Indies in three T20 games. Players wondered if the auction would be postponed. Texts and calls were sent to friends to check if they had any updates before it became clear that the auction would resume after a break.

The party in Sharma’s room broke up and prepared to leave for the airport. Inside the team bus there was happiness in abundance as many had won jackpots at the auction. Those whose turn was coming up at the auction were glued to their phones; Hotstar was on.

Interestingly, players are worried about their names appearing right after someone else has picked up a high price. The concern is your perception of past trends where the next player isn’t sold for that much.

“There is a general trend that the next player in the queue doesn’t get a good price if someone in front of them has been sold at a higher price. There was certainly a fear of what would happen if the franchise ran out of money much sooner. Look at the way the spinners got good money, some were very good”, a player told this newspaper.

In the airport lounge, the team was informed that their flight was delayed due to a technical problem. Eyeballs returned to smartphones, some still waiting for their names to be called by new auctioneer Charu Sharma. For many, the flight from Ahmedabad to Kolkata must have been a long one indeed.


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