In an unexpected turn of events during the IPL 2024 auction, Punjab Kings (PBKS) found themselves in disarray as they unintentionally secured the services of the wrong player, Shashank Singh. Despite their attempts to rectify the error, auctioneer Mallika Sagar declined their request for a reversal.
For uncapped players, securing an IPL deal is a significant achievement. However, for Shashank Singh, the Chattisgarh cricketer, the joy of being bid on by PBKS quickly turned into confusion. The Punjab Kings, after winning the bid for Shashank, expressed their reluctance to include him in their squad, leaving many wondering why they bid for him in the first place.
IPL auctions are known for their occasional surprises, such as confusion over player sums, withdrawn bids, and players being reintroduced into the auction pool. The incident involving Shashank’s bid was particularly rare.
During the accelerated phase of the auction, PBKS was eager to sign uncapped Indian cricketers and successfully acquired Ashutosh Sharma and Vishwanath Pratap Singh at their base prices. When Shashank’s turn came, co-owner Preity Zinta raised the paddle after a brief discussion. However, chaos ensued at the PBKS table after the bid was confirmed, with co-owner Ness Wadia and others signaling to the auctioneer.
Auctioneer Mallika Sagar, despite the confusion, proceeded to confirm the purchase of Shashank for PBKS. When questioned about the mix-up, she stated, “It was the wrong name? You don’t want the player?” Despite PBKS’s attempt to clarify the mistake, Mallika insisted, “I think the hammer has also come down for 237 (Shashank).”
The confusion may have arisen due to the presence of two Shashank Singhs in the IPL 2024 auction. The other Shashank Singh was a 19-year-old with no first-class cricket experience and the same base price. PBKS inadvertently bid for the 32-year-old batting all-rounder instead.
Shashank Singh, the player PBKS acquired, is a seasoned cricketer who has been part of franchises like Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Despite making his debut last year, he played 10 matches for SRH with limited impact and was subsequently released by the franchise.
In a similar incident, Delhi Capitals also faced a bidding error, intending to bid for Sumit Kumar but accidentally placing a bid for Sumeet Verma. Quick to rectify the mistake, DC informed the auctioneer, and the bid was allowed to be retracted before the hammer went down.