IPL Auction: Chennai win fight for Moeen Ali; Chris Morris picked up for £1.6m by Rajasthan Royals

Moeen Ali was the subject of strong bidding before being sold to Chennai Super Kings for £700k in the 2021 IPL Auction while South African Chris Morris was picked up for a record-breaking £1.6m by Rajasthan Royals.

Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen, who was granted leave this week to exit England’s on-going Test tour of India after playing one game, entered the auction with a base price of £200k but that quickly escalated as Punjab Kings and Chennai in particular showed interest.

The 33-year-old, who has previously played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous three editions of the tournament, will now switch to Chennai in time for the start of the competition in April after reporting for England duty in next month’s T20 series against India.

  • Silverwood apologises over phrasing of Moeen’s exit
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Ali’s compatriot Dawid Malan, currently top of the ICC T20 batting rankings, will play IPL cricket for the first time after being sold to Punjab Kings for £150k. But England openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy both went unsold in the first round.

Hales, the second player drawn by auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, attracted no bids at his reserve price of 150 Lakh (£150k) and his fate was matched by Roy, who had a reserve of 200 Lakh (£200k).

Australian Steve Smith, jettisoned by Rajasthan Royals in January, was the first player picked as Delhi Capitals stumped up 220 Lakh (£220k) but the auction truly took off with the sale of his compatriot Glenn Maxwell.

The all-rounder, whose base price was 200 Lakh, was the subject of fierce bidding before Royal Challengers Bangalore secured his services ahead of Chennai Super Kings for 1,425 Lakh (£1.4m).

  • How 2020 IPL unfolded

That price was then trumped by South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who was picked up for £1.6m by Rajasthan Royals.

Eight English players, including white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, were already guaranteed a place in the IPL after being retained by their respective franchises.

Morgan, who led England to glory in the 50-over World Cup, remains with Kolkata while Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler keep their spots with Rajasthan.

In January it was also confirmed that Jonny Bairstow, who re-joined the Test squad in India on Wednesday, would stay with Sunrisers Hyderabad, with Chris Woakes (Delhi), Sam Curran (Chennai) and Chris Jordan (Punjab Kings) also able to watch the auction in comfort.

Watch every match of the 2021 Indian Premier League live on Sky Sports Cricket.

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