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South Africans attract highest prices at T20 tournament auction

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South Africans attracted the highest prices while several leading international players went unsold at the SA20 Twenty20 tournament auction in Cape Town on Monday.

Rising star Tristan Stubbs was bought by Sunrisers Eastern Cape, who paid 9.2 million rand ($540,000) for the middle-order batter to play in the event next January and February.

Sunrisers also paid the second-highest price of 6.9 million rand for batsman Rilee Rossouw.

SA20 commissioner and former South Africa star Graeme Smith said the aim was to make the new league the second most popular in the world behind the Indian Premier League (IPL).

All six South African franchises are controlled by Indian owners of IPL teams, although no Indian players are available.

Tall all-rounder Marco Jansen went to the Pretoria Capitals for 5.6 million rand.

But Eoin Morgan, who recently quit international cricket after a stint as England’s white-ball captain, did not attract any bids.

The highest price paid for an overseas player was 2.1 million rand for new England batsman Harry Brook and West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, who were both bought by Johannesburg Super Kings.

Several leading players, including England white-ball captain Jos Buttler, England all-rounder Liam Livingstone and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan had been signed before the auction along with South Africa stars Kagiso Rabada, David Miller, Faf du Plessis and Anrich Nortje.

Overseas players who went unsold included New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham, West Indians Odean Smith, Brandon King, Jayden Seales and Shai Hope, England’s Tymal Mills and Ollie Robinson as well as Sri Lankans Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera.

South Africa T20 captain Temba Bavuma did not attract any bids, nor did Test skipper Dean Elgar.

Unsold players could be bought in a second round of bidding.

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