The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 mega-auction was no less than a fairy tale for Indian left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat. The 26-year-old cricketer from Saurashtra was sold for Rs 11.5 cr to Rajasthan Royals (RR) and thus became the most expensive Indian player leaving behind KL Rahul (Rs 11 cr, KXIP) and Manish Pandey (Rs 11 cr, SRH). He is also the second most expensive player (overall) in this auction after English all-rounder Ben Stokes who cracked a deal worth Rs 12.5 Cr and will be playing alongside Unadkat.
Right after he got a massive price to play in the eleventh edition of this cash-rich tournament, Unadkat spoke to news agency PTI and revealed how he felt about the huge bid. He said,
“Honestly, I did not have any amount in my mind. The past two years have been pretty good for me and after last year’s IPL (24 wickets), I expected a good bid. But yes, I was really amazed at the kind of bidding that happened. It is indeed surprising to me that franchises were ready to pay so much for a fast bowler.”
“I am overwhelmed but taking it in a happy way. I am expected to give my best for my franchise and will strive to do that,” Unadkat added.
In another statement given to the Indian Express, Unadkat stated that he was busy in the practice session with the Saurashtra team for the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy and had asked the team physio to inform him whenever he goes under the hammer. He said,
“Ek phone ko 30 log gher ke rakhe the. Poori team toot padi thi. Koi chilla raha tha, koi halla kar raha tha. (30 people have surrounded one single phone. The entire team was there and were shouting loud). It was fun. All were celebrating.”
Unadkat went on to speak about the intense bidding war between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to buy him and suddenly RR jumping into the ring to buy him after both the initial bidders pulled out. He said,
“One moment I thought I will go to Kings XI Punjab but then suddenly Rajasthan Royals came in, and everybody started to clap. It was like a filmy twist.”
Over the years, Jaydev Unadkat has emerged as one of the Indian T20 specialist bowlers. In the previous IPL season, he took 24 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 13.41 and an economy rate of 7.02. In the recently concluded T20I series against Sri Lanka, he also bagged the Man of the Series award for taking four wickets in three matches at an average of 11 and an economy rate of 4.88.