Ignored at IPL auctions, Richard Levi grabs eyeballs

New Delhi: South African opener Richard Levi who scored the fastest century in the history of T20 International during his knock 117 off 51 balls against New Zealand has made the IPL franchises owners sit up and take notice after being ignored at auctions in Bangalore, earlier this month.

The 24-year-old right-hander, who hit 13 sixes at the Seddon Park in Hamilton today, had a base price of USD 50,000 and was ignored during the mini-auctions held in Bangalore, on February 4.

"The purse was limited to USD 2 million and frankly speaking we didn`t have any clue about this player. With budget limited, we were only eyeing marquee players and didn`t have any idea about this guy," a senior official of one of the franchises, said on Sunday.

But the T20 fans might still get a chance to watch Levi`s pyrotechnics as the Cape Cobras opener can still be fast-tracked into the cash-rich T20 extravaganza if Pune Warriors, who didn`t take part in the auctions, rope in the Proteas opener.

As of now, Pune Warriors, who are back in the IPL, can certainly hire Levi at the base price (USD 50,000) which can prove to be a good bargain since the opener`s stocks will only go up after this particular knock.

Call it poor homework by IPL franchises, Levi has had an awesome reputation in the shorter formats in South Africa`s domestic cricket. He has a strike-rate of over 100 in 51 List A matches. His strike-rate in the shortest format is a whopping 150 in 34 matches.

PTI

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