England’s Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have all earned six-figure contracts in the Indian Premier League’s player auction.
Morgan, who led England to World Cup success in 2019, was auctioned for £563,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders, who are expected to name him as captain.
Kolkata also made Australia’s Pat Cummins (£1.7m) the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer remain with Rajasthan Royals.
The England trio were not part of the auction after the franchise opted to retain them from last season’s squad. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were also retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.
Jason Roy and Chris Woakes both went to Delhi Capitals for their base price of £161,000, while Sam Curran was bought by Chennai Super Kings for £590,000.
Curran was released from his £800,000 contract by Kings XI Punjab after his debut season in 2019 despite taking a match-winning hat-trick in one game.
Knight Riders pin their hopes on pace of Cummins
Cummins, 26, is number one in the ICC Test bowling rankings and his pace and accuracy marked him out as a standout player in the auction.
Delhi and the Royal Challengers were both in for him, before the Knight Riders made their move.
At £1.7m, Cummins is the fourth costliest player in IPL auction history and the most expensive overseas signing, marginally surpassing the fee commanded by Stokes in 2017.
Only Yuvraj Singh in 2014 and 2015 and Gautam Gambhir (2011) have gone for more.
Other big money foreign purchases included Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who joined Kings XI Punjab for £1.15m.
Chris Morris, who was omitted from South Africa’s Test squad for the forthcoming series with England, was bought by Bangalore for £1.1m, along with Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch for £473,000.
West Indies duo Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were also popular and will make their IPL debuts. Left-arm bowler Cottrell was a £914,000 purchase for Kings XI, and Hetmyer will play alongside Roy and Woakes for Delhi after they signed him for £833,000.
Among those who went unsold were South Africa’s Dale Steyn and New Zealand’s Tim Southee.
The 2020 edition, which begins in April, will be the 13th season of the IPL, which was won in 2019 by Mumbai Indians.
|IPL auction 2020 top earner|
|Pat Cummins||Australia||£1.7m||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Glenn Maxwell||Australia||£1.15m||Kings XI Punjab|
|Chris Morris||South Africa||£1.1m||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|Sheldon Cottrell||West Indies||£914,000||Kings XI Punjab|
|Nathan Coulter-Nile||Australia||£863,000||Mumbai Indians|
Leicester Riders won the BBL Play-offs title for a third season in a row by beating the London City Royals 93-61 in the final at the capital’s O2 Arena.
Leicester’s defensive intensity again proved decisive in a final as they held London to just 25 second-half points.
Tim Williams led Leicester’s scoring with 20 points and Jamell Anderson and JR Holder added 17 and 14 respectively.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning crowned a fine season with 19 points for the Royals and Orlan Jackman added 16.
The Royals stayed in touch in the opening two quarters with a Leicester side that has regularly won trophies in the last five years and their former Great Britain player Bryan-Amaning looking to make his presence felt close to the basket towards the end of the first half.
Down just 44-38 when Jackman scored the first basket of the second half, the Royals then conceded 11 unanswered points in a run triggered by Leicester’s Holder and Williams.
After the Riders went on a further 11-2 run, inspired by three-pointers from Anderson and Pierre Hampton, the Royals were 24 behind and they posted just 10 points in a third quarter in which the final was all but decided.
Riders continue dominance
Leicester’s win – in their sixth final in the past eight years – is their third play-offs title and equals the feat of Kingston, Worthing and Newcastle, who also scored hat-tricks in the play-offs.
Leicester coach Rob Paternostro said he had expected a closer contest but believed his team’s improvement in the second half of the season, after the rigours of their European campaign, had been instrumental in the win.
“Coming into the play-offs we became more of a group that was locked-in, especially on defence,” he said. “I’m super-proud of how locked-in mentally they were.
“We just thought that we had to get back on defence – we felt that when our defence was set up, we were going to be really tough to beat in this game. There weren’t many adjustments to make.”
Royals coach Jay Williams said: “We struggled with consistency throughout the season but in the big games we showed up – but today we just didn’t.
“Hats off to the Riders – they came out and executed their game plan and they were consistent the whole time through.
“We played hard but we didn’t play smart and the Riders exploited that. But the main thing is – we didn’t show up.”