Yuvraj Singh was at the Golden Temple on Tuesday. God seems to have heard his prayers as the 32-year-old all-rounder, not in the best of form on a cricket field, capped an amazing week by becoming the highest paid star in the history of the Indian Premier League 2014 auctions. On Wednesday in Bangalore, Yuvraj was bought for a record fee of Rs 14 crore to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2014. The previous highest was Gautam Gambhir, who got a whopping 11.04 crore from Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011. (2014 IPL auctions Day 1 highlights)
Out of India's ODI team since December 2013, Yuvraj has been struggling for form. The 32-year-old left-hander paid obeisance at the holy Sikh temple in Amritsar on Tuesday. While he chose not to talk about cricket on his visit, the game welcomed him back with open arms as he was picked in the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held from March 16 in Bangladesh. On Wednesday, it was the IPL's turn to reward him.
During the first phase of auctions on Wednesday, teams battled hard to get Yuvraj. It was RCB that broke their bank to bag the maverick batsman in their already formidable line-up. The price-tag of Rs 14 crore was far more than the second-most expensive player in this year's auction - Dinesh Karthik of Delhi Daredevils, who got 12.5 crore. Delhi retained England discard Kevin Pietersen for 9 crore.
Yuvraj was understandably ecstatic after being included in the team which includes Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. "What times the Gangnam," he tweeted to his new teammates.
The batsman's journey in the IPL has not been topsy-turvy. Leading Kings XI Punjab and the now defunct Pune Warriors has not been easy with defeats coming repeatedly in the previous seasons. Personally as well, Yuvraj has a total of 1475 runs and 29 wickets from the six editions of the tournament - impressive but perhaps not worth the huge price tag. RCB team owner Vijay Mallya though justified his decision. "We wanted to strengthen our bowling and Yuvraj will help do that. The team is looking good now," the liquor baron said. (Full IPL coverage)
Big bucks is nothing new for Yuvraj, who was India's star performer in the 2011 World Cup. But expectations on him will multiply a thousand times as both Team India and RCB will now want his cricket do all the talking. (The auction rules | Full list of players - sold and unsold)