New Delhi: Following a bizarre sequence of events during the accelerated round of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 auction in Dubai, where the Punjab Kings had a successful bid for Chhattisgarh batting all-rounder Shashank Singh and later tried to convince the auctioneer Mallika Sagar that they did not want him, the team has put things down to a case of mistaken identity.
At around 7:47 PM Indian time as per ESPNCricinfo, Shashank Singh – a Bengal player, was up for bidding but went unsold. Just three minutes later, Shashank from Chhattisgarh came up during the auction. He had also represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022. He was bought by PBKS for Rs 20 lakh, his base price.
After that, when Sagar put up the next player, Tanay Thyagarajan up for bidding, who was also bought by Punjab, there were some discussions at the PBKS table and the owner of the team Preity Zinta, who was operating the paddle and colleague Ness Wadia waved at the auctioneer in a ‘don’t want’ gesture, signalling that they did not want Shashank.
But the auctioneer explained that the hammer had come down and they had to accept the player into their roster.
In a statement released on Wednesday, PBKS said that the Chhattisgarh all-rounder ‘was always on our target list’ and the confusion was due to two players of the same name being on the list.
‘Official Update Punjab Kings would like to clarify that Shashank Singh was always on our target list. The confusion was due to 2 players of the same name being on the list. We are delighted to have him on board and see him contribute to our success,’ tweeted PBKS.
Later, Shashank, who was brought by PBKS thanked the franchise, replying to their statement, ‘It’s All Cool … Thank you for Trusting on me!!!!’.
Shashank, who was brought by PBKS, has scored 724 runs in 55 T20s at an average of 20.11 and a strike rate of over 135, with five fifties to his name. He also has 15 wickets in the format. He has a strong List-A record, scoring 986 runs in 30 matches at an average of 41.08, with two centuries and three fifties in 27 innings and taking 33 wickets.
It was overall a mixed outing for PBKS at the auction table. they filled their 25-player quota by making solid buys in England all-rounder Chris Woakes (Rs 4.2 crores), South African batter Rilee Rossouw (Rs eight crores) and Indian pacer Harshal Patel (Rs 11.75 crores).
But they missed out on a reliable Indian middle-order batter. They ended up with Rs 4.15 crores left in their purse. They also acquired some uncapped Indian players.