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IPL 2015: Sunrisers’ double-Kiwi swoop makes them ones to watch

| 17.02.2015

There may be a cricket World Cup going on, but major events in the sport were never likely to stop the Board of Control for Cricket in India from scheduling their latest IPL player auction smack-bang in the middle of it.

Held in Bangalore with 349 players available for the eight teams to purchase, 67 were snapped up. Yuvraj Singh was the most costly of the lot, heading to the Delhi Daredevils for around £1.6m, but his wasn’t the most impressive capture of the auction.

The Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad all made major moves to challenge the title defence of the Kolkata Knight Riders, who were understandably quiet during the sale.

CSK added the experience of Michael Hussey, pace of Kyle Abbot and all-round talents of Irfan Pathan to a well-renowned strong squad. However, it is the acquisition of another Aussie, AJ Tye, who was arguably the best bowler in the recent Big Bash League that really demands attention.

For the Mumbai Indians, who will be coached by Ricky Ponting, there was a continuation of the Australian theme as Aaron Finch came aboard. He was joined by Pragyan Ojha and Mitch McClenaghan as the standout purchases for the 2013 winners.

While their competitors seemed obsessed with the men from Down Under, the Sunrisers took a different view, acquiring three Englishmen to their squad.

Ravi Bopara and current ODI captain Eoin Morgan signed up for a full IPL campaign with the competition’s newest side, while ousted international Kevin Pietersen will arrive to claim the headlines.

Kiwis Trent Boult and Kane Williamson, who are 10/3 to win the World Cup with the Blackcaps, were also snapped up, joining the likes of Shikhar Darwan, David Warner, Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma to form a squad dripping in star-quality.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.