Young Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is soon going to wake up and think the last fortnight has all been a dream.
From an unforgettable Proteas Test debut on his home ground the one week – where he picked up six second-innings wickets to earn the Man-of-the-Match award – Ngidi scored a lucrative Indian Premier League contract the next.
Ngidi was snapped up by the Chennai Super Kings at this year’s IPL auction on Sunday for 50 lakh Indian rupees, which equates to over R925 000.
It certainly is a life-changing sum of money for a 21-year-old who does not even hold a national contract as yet.
Ngidi will join Proteas teammates Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir at the Super Kings – after being the most successful IPL franchise, they will return to the fold this year after serving a two-year ban for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
Very excited for what is coming ahead all glory to god ❤🇿🇦😊 @ChennaiIPL
The Super Kings used their “right-to-match” card to secure Proteas skipper Du Plessis’ services for almost R3 million ($250 000), while Tahir cost R1.85m.
There was a return to the Mumbai Indians for JP Duminy (R1.85m) after a few years playing for the Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers.
Quinton de Kock will now turn out with AB de Villiers for the Royal Challengers Bangalore after moving from the Daredevils for R5.18m.
Kings XI Punjab also utilised their “right-to-match” card to keep David Miller (R5.55m), while the Daredevils did the same with Kagiso Rabada (R7.78m).
This was in contrast to Dale Steyn, who went unsold. The 34-year-old Proteas fast bowler is currently out with a heel injury, which would have influenced potential suitors.
It was, though, surprising that Hashim Amla was also left on the market.
The Proteas star was the leading run-scorer with 420 runs at an average of 60.00 and strike-rate of 145.83 for the Kings XI last season, but was mysteriously overlooked this time around.
Meanwhile, T20 superstar Chris Gayle finally found a team at the third time of asking, while seam bowlers Jaydev Unadkat and Andrew Tye earned big on the second and final day of the player auction.
West Indian Gayle went unsold in two rounds, with none of the eight franchises looking interested in the swashbuckling left-hander, whose five centuries in IPL is the most by any batsman.
It was in the third round that Kings XI Punjab bought Gayle, IPL’s leading six-hitter, at his base price of 20 million Indian rupees ($314 613).
Unadkat emerged as the most expensive Indian buy from the two-day auction when the 26-year-old was sold to Rajasthan Royals for 115 million rupees.
Australian Tye, who has played four one-day internationals, also earned big money, with Kings XI Punjab buying him for 72 million rupees.
Biggest IPL Deals
Ben Stokes (England: allrounder) – Rajasthan Royals $1.96m
Jaydev Unadkat (India: fast bowler) – Rajasthan Royals $1.8m
Manish Pandey (India: batsman) – Sunrisers Hyderabad $1.7m
Lokesh Rahul (India: batsman) – Kings XI Punjab $1.7m
Chris Lynn (Australia: batsman) – Kolkata Knight Riders $1.5m
Mitchell Starc (Australia: fast bowler) – Kolkata Knight Riders $1.47m
Glenn Maxwell (Australia: all-rounder) – Delhi Daredevils $1.41m
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan: spin bowler) – Sunrisers Hyderabad $1.41m
Krunal Pandya (India: all-rounder) – Mumbai Indians $1.38m
Sanju Samson (India: wicket-keeper batsman) – Rajasthan Royals $1.25m