The Indian Premier League (IPL) is to get even more exciting. Two new clubs are set to join the league in 2022. The teams in question are Ahmedabad and Lucknow, each of which has already started assembling squads for the upcoming season. The clubs have already drafted three players each even before the 2022 IPL Mega Auction.
The Mega Auction, for those unfamiliar, allows teams to retain only four players. The remaining players are eligible to take part in the auction, potentially landing themselves some lucrative deals. This way, the players get a chance to earn a lot of money, while teams get to rebuild their rosters for the next season.
That’s exactly what we’ll see the ten IPL franchises try to do on February 12 and 13. The 2022 Mega Auction is set to take place in Bangalore. Among the players expected to come out as the winners of the Mega Auction are a couple of Africans. Let’s now discuss which of them have the right to hope to land a big-money deal.
Faf du Plessis
It wouldn't be an overstatement to call du Plessis a living cricket legend. The former captain of the South African cricket team is turning 38 this summer, but he’s still one of the most desired players among the IPL teams. The right-handed batsman is coming off an impressive season in 2021 when he played for Chennai Super Kings.
Knowing that du Plessis recorded 633 runs in the 16 IPL games he played last season, it’s only logical to assume we’re going to see him get some lucrative offers in the Mega Auction.
Wiese used to play for South Africa, but in 2021, he changed his allegiance to Namibia. With his new national team, he got into Super 12 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Winning two Man of the Match awards along the way.
The all-rounder made 227 runs in his eight innings, creating an average of 45.40 and making himself Namibia’s leading run-getter in the competition.
Wiese’s stats put him back on the radar of IPL clubs, even though he hasn’t played in this competition since 2016. That’s when he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore for a brief period before being dropped.
Fast-forward to 2022 and Wiese is a much more experienced player with sky-high confidence whose skills could come in handy to literally any club in the league.
Aiden Markram played for South Africa in the ongoing T20 World Cup, which ended for his team after five matches. Despite winning four of those, South African cricketers couldn’t go past the Group of Death.
Nevertheless, the Proteas did not embarrass themselves and this goes especially for their batsman Markram. He was their best player in the competition, scoring 162 runs in five matches, setting an average of 54.
At the age of 27, Markram is expected to continue playing at such a high level, especially if he signs for a good club in 2022. That said, it’s very likely that his next destination is going to be one of the ten IPL teams, maybe even Punjab Kings, the team for which he played in 2021.
Last year, Chris Morris was the star of the IP Mega Auction. He got himself an Rs. 16.25 crore contract from Rajasthan Royals, who probably think of it as a great investment. The deal paid off as Morris did great in the first half of the 2021 IPL seasons, picking two tickets per game on average.
It's no surprise that he did so well last year. If you take a look at his all-time IPL stats, you’ll see that such a high level of performance is to be expected from this guy. His overall record is 95 wickets in 81 IPL matches, while his batting average is 22.07 (618 runs in 81 games).
Shamsi was an integral part of the South African campaign at the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. We saw him bowling in a manner of a true superstar, which has certainly made IPL clubs crave for his signature in 2022.
Last season, he was picked by Rajasthan Royals during the IPL 2021 UAE leg as a replacement for Australian bowler Andrew Tye. He did well there before making a move to the 2021 Lanka Premier League where he played for the Galle Gladiators, the team that ended up as the runners-up that season.
Still in his early 30s, the Johannesburg-born bowler seems like someone who can take his team to the IPL trophy this year. The question is which team is it going to be? No one can say for sure at this point, although one thing is certain – whoever wants to sign him will have to bid a lot at the Mega Auction.
The upcoming IPL season will certainly bring exciting action. New clubs joining the league is always a great event for any sport and it should be the same here. India’s collective love for cricket will continue to make playing there the gold standard in Cricket.