IPL Auction 2016: From Watson to Yuvraj, check out the top 6 buys this year

Photo: Getty Images

IPL Auction 2016: From Watson to Yuvraj, check out the top 6 buys this year

Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

The Indian Premier League (IPL) players auction for the ninth edition of country's cash-rich T20 tournament lived up to its expectations and much hype on 6 February with a total of 351 cricketers going under the hammer for the eight coveted franchises.

Among the 230 Indian and 121 overseas cricketers in the auction pool, Australia's veteran all-rounder Shane Watson emerged as the most expensive pick following a massive Rs 9.5-cr bid by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Apart from Watson, Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh also fetched a handsome bid of Rs 7 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad. South African seamer Chris Morris was also sold for Rs 7 crore to Delhi Daredevils.

But, the biggest story of this year's auction turned out to be the young Indian all-rounder Pawan Negi who was sold to Delhi Daredevils for a whopping Rs 8.5 crore - the second-highest bid this year.

Missing from the auction were the two suspended teams - Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals - who followed a set pattern in the previous auctions. Chennai believed in continuity while making their bids, while Rajasthan preferred value-buys.

Here's a look at the top six buys of this year's IPL players auction:

Shane Watson (Rs 9.5 cr)

Shane Watson_Ashok Nath Dey/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Photo: Ashok Nath Dey/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

For a man who was dropped from the recent ODI series against India with many predicting his career might be coming to an end, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has come a long way. The 34-year-old cricketer attracted the highest bid for a marquee player in the IPL auction.

Watto, whose base price was Rs 2 crore, was eventually sold to the Vijay Mallya-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 9.5 crore. The former Rajasthan Royals star was the subject of intense bidding from the new entrants Rising Pune Supergiants, before the Mumbai Indians joined the race in a bid to secure his services.

However, a massive bid from Bangalore forced the other franchises to fold their cards and eventually pull out of the race.

Pawan Negi (Rs 8.5 cr)

Pawan Negi_File Photo

File Photo

After bagging the highest bid, if you thought Watson was the biggest surprise in this year's auction, then think again. The 23-year-old Indian all-rounder, Pawan Negi, stunned everyone after attracting the second-highest bid of Rs 8.5 crore in the auction.

Delhi Daredevils secured the services of the former Chennai Super Kings player, whose base price was only Rs 30 lakh, with a massive bid to thwart advances from the other franchises.

Chris Morris (Rs 7 cr)

Chris Morris_Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who had a base price of just Rs 50 lakh, turned out to be one of the biggest gainers this year following a massive Rs 7-cr bid from Delhi Daredevils.

The 28-year-old cricketer sparked a bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, until Delhi swooped in with a sensational bid to take home the player.

Yuvraj Singh (Rs 7 cr)

Yuvraj Singh_Photo: Exander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Exander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who became the most expensive player in the IPL history in 2015, might not have attracted a similar bid this time around, but he surely matched up the third-highest bid this year. The Punjab southpaw, with a base price of Rs 2 crore, was sold for Rs 7 crore to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

In 2015, the 34-year-old went for a whopping Rs 16 crore (IPL record) when he was purchased by the Delhi Daredevils. However, a string of poor performances saw Delhi releasing the left-hander ahead of auction this year.

Mohit Sharma (Rs 6.5 cr)

Mohit Sharma_Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Former Chennai Super Kings bowler Mohit Sharma is placed fourth in our list of top buys this year. The 27-year-old, with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore, was sold to Kings XI Punjab for a staggering Rs 6.5 crore.

The Haryana cricketer attracted significant bids from both Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, but the latter finally managed to seal the deal with a handsome price.

Ashish Nehra (Rs 5.5 cr)

Ashish Nehra_Photo: Graham Crouch/Getty Images

Photo: Graham Crouch/Getty Images

India's death bowling specialist Ashish Nehra was also amongst the biggest gainers in the IPL players auction this year. The 36-year-old, whose base price was Rs 2 crore, was eventually sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs 5.5 crore.

The left-arm seamer sparked a bidding war between Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, with the latter finally bagging the player for a massive sum.

Rohan Raj

Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj