Kolkata: West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell was on Thursday snapped up by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for a whopping Rs 8.5 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. However, former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckoned the Punjab based franchise’s Director Of Cricket Operations Anil Kumble picked the Caribbean cricketer in desperation as they were not left with much options.
Cottrell had a great outing in the 2019 World Cup in England as he had emerged as West Indies’ highest wicket-taker after picking up 12 wickets from nine games at an economy rate of 5.85.
Speaking on Cottrell’s acquisition by KXIP, Gambhir said on Cricket Live exclusively on Star Sports: “There were no better options, Pat Cummins and Chris Morris both were sold out – they tried hard to get (Chris) Morris but it didn’t work. I still don’t think Sheldon Cottrell has enough quality to become an 8.5 cr bowler. He’s still to build on accuracy and speed yet that he can bowl at 145 speed; he can look at putting cutters but that might not help at Mohali.”
“I think Anil Kumble picked him up in desperation since they couldn’t get Chris Morris or Pat Cummins. If the demand is high and supply is low, these things happen,” he added.
With a base price of Rs 50 lakh, Cottrell drew a bidding war between Rajasthan Royals and KXIP before Delhi Capitals also joined the race. However, it was KXIP Punjab who were successful in acquiring the services of the left-arm pacer.
Cottrell is now the second most expensive bowler after Pat Cummins (15.5 crore) in this year’s auctions.