Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, stated that South African all-rounder Chris Morris’ proven skills and record in the IPL made the franchise bid for him at a record price.
Chris Morris became the most expensive buy at an IPL auction, beating Yuvraj Singh’s record, who was purchased by Delhi Capitals for INR 16 crore.
Morris entered the IPL 2021 auction at a base price of INR 75 lakh after being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ahead of the mini-auction.
In a video posted on Rajasthan Royals’ official Twitter account, Sangakkara explained in detail why the franchise went for the veteran all-rounder at such a high price. He said:
“(Chris) Morris (was bought) especially for his ability in terms of the ball. His numbers across the IPL are very good. And, of course, he has got the ability to get runs with the bat as well. He has a specific role for us to play. Very happy with the way things have gone.”
Admitting that the price may seem a bit high, Sangakkara added:
“Yes, it was quite a high price. But, at the same time, the role in the team, and the demand for that role, plays a large part in not just our franchise but any side looking for their players.”
On getting another all-rounder, Shivam Dube, at a price of INR 4.4 crore, the Sri Lankan stated that his purchase was with a view to “strengthen the middle-order”.
Rajasthan Royals struggled with the bat last year despite having big names like Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson in their line-up.
Apart from Chris Morris and Dube, Rajasthan Royals also purchased Bangladesh’s prolific left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman for his base price of INR 1 crore.
Chris Morris’ IPL record
Chris Morris was purchased by RCB for INR 10 crore last year. However, he could not play all the matches due to injury.
In the nine games that he featured in, the 33-year-old ended up picking up an impressive 11 wickets at a strike rate of 17.27.
He did not get too many chances to bat, and scored 34 runs at a strike rate of 161.90. Chris Morris, though, has the ability to strike big hits if given a chance.
In his overall IPL career, Chris Morris has claimed 80 wickets in 70 matches at a strike rate of 18.42. With the bat, he has scored 551 runs, striking at 157.87, with a best of 82 not out.
Published 18 Feb 2021, 18:07 IST