Big hitters and a magician: Five to watch in the IPL auction

New Delhi (AFP) –


Many of the world's top cricketers will be among 332 players going under the hammer when the Indian Premier League holds its auction on Thursday.

Here are five players who could break the bank when the eight teams in the Twenty20 tournament place their bids in Kolkata:

- Glenn Maxwell (Australia) -

Explosive hitter Maxwell surprised the cricketing world when he recently took a short break because of mental health issues.

He returned to club cricket last month and put his name in the IPL auction having played previously for Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals).

Maxwell has scored 1,397 runs in the IPL at an average of 22.9 at a rapid strike rate of 161.13. He is one of the five Australians to have their base price set at 20 million rupees ($282,000).

- Eoin Morgan (England) -

Having led England to their first 50-over World Cup in July, fast-scoring Morgan will be a hot property again having set his base price at 15 million rupees ($212,000).

Morgan last played for Kings XI Punjab in 2017 and went unsold last year, but that is unlikely to happen again given his exploits in the World Cup which included a world record 17 sixes in blasting 148 off 71 balls against Afghanistan.

- Jason Roy (England) -

South African-born batsman Roy was a key to England's World Cup success with a hundred and four half-centuries.

Rated as one of the game's most destructive limited-overs openers Roy could trigger a bidding war given his rapid strike rate of more than 145 in Twenty20s and a base price of 15 million rupees ($212,000).

He played previously for the now-defunct Gujarat Lions and Delhi Capitals as well as enjoying successful stints in South Africa's Mzansi Super League and the Pakistan Super League.

- Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa) -

Shamsi has emerged as South Africa's first-choice limited-overs spinner since Imran Tahir's retirement from ODIs.

The left-arm bowler's unusual wicket celebrations include the magician's trick of turning a handkerchief into a stick, with online footage of his exploits going viral. "The most important thing is still the bowling," he said. "If there are no wickets, there are no celebrations."

Playing for the Paarl Rocks in the domestic Mzansi Super League, Shamsi has had many opportunities to perform the sleight of hand, taking 14 wickets in nine matches and he has set his base price at a modest five million rupees ($70,000).

- Shimron Hetmyer (West Indies) -

Hetmyer is fast building a reputation as the new big-hitting weapon to take over from the now-retired Chris Gayle and the 22-year-old would have done no harm to his auction price with a sparkling career-best 139 in the West Indies' one-day international win against India on Sunday.

The left-hander, whose release by the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore may yet turn out to be a huge mistake, toyed with the Indian bowling. Hetmyer smashed 11 fours and seven sixes during his 106-ball blitz, but denied that he had an eye on the auction.

"I wasn't thinking about that too much, said Hetmeyer who should see plenty of interest at a base price of five million rupees ($70,000).