IPL Auction: ‘Uthappa a utility player, has always been on RR radar’


Seasoned campaigner Robin Uthappa, who was earlier released by Kolkata Knight Riders, will be playing for Rajasthan Royals in next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In the IPL auction which took place on Thursday, Uthappa became the first Indian capped player to be sold with Rajasthan Royals buying him for Rs3 crore, twice his base price.

Uthappa has played 177 matches in all the editions of the IPL in which he has scored 4411 runs at a strike rate of 130.50, including 24 fifties.

“He has always been on our radar ever since he joined KKR and has performed exceedingly well for them over the past six seasons. He has been a part of their title-winning seasons, and we look forward to him bringing his experience to our team. He is a fantastic batsman and can keep wickets also, therefore he is quite a utility player when it comes to the IPL,” Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket at Rajasthan Royal said.

“We look forward to him being a crucial part of the Rajasthan Royals’ set-up, and we want to make sure he is up to speed and settles into the team so that he can be a part of the first XI,” he added.

Royals, inaugural IPL champions, also shelled out Rs3 crore to bring Jaydev Unadkat to their squad. Unadkat was released by the Royals ahead of Thursday’s auction but they managed to get him back on board at a bargain price.

“We could not retain him (Unadkat), and had planned to get him back, and I’m really happy to once again have him in the team. He was the only experienced Indian pacer available at the auction, and after a tough bidding battle, we managed to get him,” said Zubin.

Before last IPL season, the left-handed bowler was sold back to the Royals for a whopping Rs8.40 crore. Prior to that, he was the most expensive Indian player sold in the 2018 auction, again bought by the Royals for Rs11.50 crore.

“His performances during the latter stages of the IPL last season were brilliant as he helped us win matches, including a Man of the Match performance against Sunrisers, and he had been working with us on various aspects of his game during the off-season. He knows the franchise inside-out, therefore we are really looking forward to have him help our team again,” he added.

Unadkat has so far played for five teams in the cash-rich league. He has played 73 matches and picked up 77 wickets at an average of 28.46 with two five-wicket hauls.

Kolkata, Dec 19 (IANS)


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