PBKS Auction. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
In a surprising turn of events at the 2024 IPL Auction, Punjab Kings found themselves in a mix-up leading to the accidental purchase of Shashank Singh. The confusion unfolded during the accelerated bidding phase when Shashank’s name was called out, prompting the auctioneer Mallika Sagar to commence the bid. Hailing from Chattisgarh and previously with Sunrisers Hyderabad, the uncapped 32-year-old went unsold in the previous auction.
Punjab Kings, the sole bidders for Shashank, mistakenly secured his services in Dubai. However, moments after the hammer confirmed the purchase, team owners Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta realized the blunder, indicating they had confused Shashank with another player. Despite their attempt to rectify the error, Mallika Sagar stood firm, asserting that once the hammer falls, the decision stands.
Wadia and Zinta sought to place Shashank back into the auction, but auction regulations prohibited such reversals after the gavel signifies a confirmed purchase. Shashank boasts a T20 record of 55 matches, amassing 724 runs with a strike rate of 135.83, along with claiming 15 wickets. Meanwhile, the highest-priced acquisition for the team was Harshal Patel, secured for INR 11.75 crore.
Suhail Chandok, and Mike Hesson questioned Punjab Kings conduct
This unique incident left Punjab Kings in a bind, unable to retract their accidental acquisition, exemplifying the rigid rules governing IPL auctions even in the face of mistaken identities. During a segment on Jio Cinema, anchor Suhail Chandok expressed disapproval, stating that the franchise appeared uncertain in its approach regarding the incident. “We don’t see that in the auction if you are clear with your plans,” he said.
Mike Hesson, an expert on the show, contributed insights regarding Punjab’s conduct during the auction by saying, “Not sure what Punjab achieved from this IPL auction. They have a lot of backups but not a lot of substance.”