Glenn Maxwell and Jhye Richardson have five million reasons to smile after the pair were sold for a combined A$5 million at the 2021 IPL auction.
Maxwell will be teaming up with superstars Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers this IPL season after he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a staggering A$2.52 million.
Richardson was then bought for a whopping A$2.48 million by Punjab Kings for what will be his first IPL season.
Caught in a tense bidding war between RCB and Chennai Super Kings that lasted 15 minutes, Maxwell was bought for INR14.25 crore.
Maxwell, a former IPL MVP, joins Kohli, de Villiers and Australian quartet Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams at Bangalore.
Richardson was also in demand, with RCB and Punjab going back and forth for 10 minutes until the right-armer went to the Kings for INR14 crore.
Joining Richardson at Punjab is Riley Meredith, the Hobart Hurricanes express paceman who was sold for A$1.42 million after a bidding war with Delhi, becoming the third Aussie millionaire of the night.
Incredibly, Maxwell and Richardson weren't the top earners. South African allrounder Chris Morris set a new record to be sold to Rajasthan Royals for A$2.88 million.
Morris's price of INR16.25 crore was the highest winning bid of any IPL auction, eclipsing the record of 16 crore that the Delhi Daredevils paid for Yuvraj Singh in 2015.
Maxwell wasn't even RCB's most expensive buy on the night as towering New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson - listed by the IPL as an allrounder - was the other massive winner on the night, sold for A$2.66 million.
Melbourne Stars quick Nathan Coulter-Nile was picked up by the club that released him, bought for A$886,000 by the Mumbai Indians.
Sydney Sixers captain Moises Henriques is joining Richardson and Meredith at Punjab after he was secured for $A745,000.
Steve Smith was the first player sold in the auction, bought by Ricky Ponting's Delhi Capitals for A$390,000. It's a significant drop for Smith, who had been on A$2.2 million with Rajasthan before he was released after the last tournament.
It was past midnight when the auction wrapped up, with serial title-winner Dan Christian returning to the IPL for the first time since 2018 after RCB paid A$851,000 for him.
Very excited to be (re)joining @RCBTweets !! Just a spring chicken last time, hopefully I can help us lift the trophy this time!! pic.twitter.com/lIXX9iUruW— Dan Christian (@danchristian54) February 18, 2021
Ben Cutting also returns to the IPL this season on the back of an impressive year with the Sydney Thunder where he made the most of the Power Surge rules, and was the cheapest Australian sold at the auction, bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for A$133,000 on the second round of bidding.
Thirty-five Australians were up for grabs with many going unsold for the lucrative tournament that is expected to begin in April. There was no bid for Australia limited overs skipper Aaron Finch after a poor run of form in the KFC BBL turned off suiters, while Perth Scorchers express left-arm paceman Jason Behrendorff also went unsold. T20 rising star Marnus Labuschagne, who reinvigorated the Brisbane Heat after joining the club following Test duties this summer, also went unsold.
Australians sold at the 2021 IPL auction
Glenn Maxwell (RCB) – A$2.52 million (INR 142.5mil)
Jhye Richardson (PK) – A$2.48 million (INR 140mil)
Riley Meredith (PK) – A$1.42 million (INR 80mil)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (MI) – A$886,000 (INR 50mil)
Dan Christian (RCB) – A$851,000 (INR 48mil)
Moises Henriques (PK) – A$745,000 (INR 42mil)
Steve Smith (DC) – A$390,000 (INR 22mil)
Ben Cutting (KKR) – A$133,000 (INR7.5mil)
Australian players who went unsold
Alex Carey, Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Jason Behrendorff, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Hilton Cartwright, James Faulkner, Joel Paris, Jack Wildermuth, Ben McDermott, Sean Abbott, Mark Steketee, Brendan Doggett, Ben Dwarshuis, Chris Green, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Nathan McAndrew, Xavier Bartlett, Wes Agar, Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha, Max Bryant, Jake Weatherald, Matt Kelly
Scroll from the bottom up to see how the night unfolded, with all times in AEDT.
11:50pm: Marnus Labuschagne is unsold but Moises Henriques goes to Punjab for A$743,409.
11:44pm: After Ben Cutting goes unsold, Tom Curran is bought by Delhi for A$929,756.
11:40pm: Far out! Kiwi quick Kyle Jamieson goes to RCB for A$2.66 million!
11:31pm: Cheteshwar Pujara sold to CSK for 88,593.
11:28pm: Shaun Marsh goes unsold.
11:06pm: Woah! Riley Meredith was wanted by Punjab and Delhi but goes to the Capitals for A$1.42 million.
10:48pm: Krishnappa Gowtham goes for big money, sold to CSK for A$1.64 million.
10:40pm: After a handful of players go unsold, India's Shahrukh Khan is snapped up by Punjab for A$929,621.
Great to see Australians getting selected for IPL franchises👍🏽— Jason Gillespie 🌱 (@dizzy259) February 18, 2021
10:30pm: Back after a short break with more players going under the hammer.
10:14pm: Nathan Coulter-Nile is bought back by Mumbai for A$885,648.
10:11pm: Perth Scorchers fast bowler Jhye Richardson sold to Punjab Kings for a huge A$2.48 million!!!
My girlfriend Sarah just turns to me and goes... ‘why aren’t you a bowler?’ 🤣— Sam Billings (@sambillings) February 18, 2021
10:01pm: Sydney Thunder and New Zealand quick Adam Milne goes to Mumbai Indians for 566,885.
09:53pm: We're back and Alex Carey goes unsold. Unsold players can be asked to be re-auctioned by the franchise owners once the first round of bidding is over.
09:34pm: Time for a 15-minute break. In case you missed it, Glenn Maxwell will be joining Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at RCB for A$2.52 million, while Steve Smith is heading to Delhi for A$390k.
09:31pm: South African Chris Morris is sold to Rajasthan for a jaw dropping A$2.88 million!!! Punjab Kings wanted him but the Royals got their man.
09:18pm: India allrounder Shivam Dube goes to Rajasthan for A$779,216
09:14pm: CSK get their allrounder, England's Moeen Ali bought for A$1.24 million.
09:04pm: Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan is sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for A$566,607.
Looking forward to joining @RCBTweets for this years @IPL Can’t wait to put everything I have in to helping us lift the trophy!— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) February 18, 2021
09:02pm: After a tense bidding war, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, Glenn Maxwell is sold to RCB for a whopping A$2.52 million!!!
08:47pm: Aaron Finch, Evin Lewis and Hanuma Vihari go unsold.
08:45pm: Steve Smith is sold to Ricky Ponting's Delhi Capitals for A$389,120!
08:43pm: English pair Alex Hales and Jason Roy go unsold. Unsold players can get auctioned off at a later time.
08:40pm: Karun Nair, the India batter, goes unsold.
08:30pm: We're away! The first set of players to be auctioned off are Aaron Finch, Alex Hales, Evin Lewis, Karun Nair, Jason Roy, Steve Smith and Hanuma Vihari.
08:20pm: The 2021 IPL auction is 10 minutes away! There's already been some banter between two IPL coaches.
Best of luck to both of us skipper 😉— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) February 18, 2021
There are 125 overseas players who will go under the hammer, including 35 Australians, but there are only 22 available overseas slots among the eight IPL franchises.
While 11 Australians have existing IPL contracts, the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Aaron Finch, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff are expected to be among the sought-after international players available in the auction.