The 2021 IPL Auction is in the bag and despite there being very few big names in the auction, there are several England players heading in new directions and some who aren't heading anywhere.
15 English players threw their name into the hat for the auction (Mark Wood removed his name on the eve of the auction to spend more time with his family), yet only 5 were picked up to appear in the 2021 edition of the world's most popular T20 tournament.
Here is a list of the players who were sold:
Moeen Ali 7.0 Crore to Chennai
Tom Curran 5.25 Crore to Delhi Capitals
Sam Billings - 2.0 Crore to Delhi Capitals
Dawid Malan 1.5 Crore to Kings XI Punjab
Liam Livingston: 0.75 Crore to Rajhastan Royals
They'll be joining the following notable England players who were retained before the auction, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes.
There were a couple of surprises as Alex Hales went unsold in the first round and was not added to any list for the 2nd round bidding. Hales who is coming off a superb BBL season where he finished as the top-scorer has been frozen out of the international game after several off-field issues pertaining to drugs. It seems as though those off-field issues scared plenty of teams away, had it just been a performance decision then it's hard to believe Hales wouldn't have made a team.
Dawid Malan will make his IPL debut in 2021, the England top-order and ICC #1 ranked batsman was sold on the cheap for Kings XI for his asking price of 1.5 Crore. For a man who's averaging over 50 and striking at 150 in the international game, that is pennies. If Malan can find his international form his new employer that could turn out to be the steal of the draft.
Moeen Ali found a new home in Chennai joining England teammate Sam Curran. Moeen who has been a controversial figure for England will look to get back on track after barely being used by Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2020 edition.
Despite struggling mightily for the Royals in 2020 taking just 3 wickets over 5 matches for 83 runs, Tom Curran found a home in Delhi where he'll be joined by Kent skipper Sam Billings. Billings has consistently been a reliable middle-order batsmen for England in white-ball cricket and he'll join Steve Smith who was picked up by Delhi earlier in the auction after being released by the Royals. Billings will certainly receive some good coaching in Delhi with former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in charge.
Finally, Liam Livingstone was picked up on the cheap by the Royals, he'll join a strong English contingent of Buttler, Archer and Stokes in Rajasthan. However with the north-Indian outfit having splashed out an IPL record £1.6 million on Chris Morris and there being a 4 overseas restriction in any playing XI, he may find it hard to get a game in the 2021 edition of the IPL.
Unfortunately, Adil Rashid and Jason Roy didn't find a home. I know the historic logic was that you don't use an overseas spot on a spinner when there are plenty of domestic options, but Rashid is arguably the best leg-spinner in white-ball cricket and the fact he'll be watching this competition from the comfort of his own home is astounding, I'm sure when we're watching along there will be plenty of teams who could have done with his expertise. I also think that with so many young Indian seamers coming through, that logic needs to go out the window and out the window fast.
David Willet, Ben Duckett, Liam Plunkett, Nayan Doshi, Lewis Gregory, Reece Topley, George Garton and Ravi Bopara all went unsold in the auction, however I don't think there are too many surprises there.