IPL showers money on top players
The auctions for the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) were held at the Oberoi Hilton in Mumbai and after the first six rounds there have been many players who have been laughing all the way to the bank while some are still waiting for their suitors.
India Cements, which has the Chennai franchisee, bid the maximum amount for India’s One-Day International and Twenty20 skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni for Rs 6 crore ($1.5 million).
Dhoni will be joined by Sri Lanka’s spin wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan, who was bought for Rs 2.4 crore ($600,000), in the Chennai team.
In what may surprise many cricket fans, Hyderabad came up with the second highest bid for Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds who has not been very popular in India for his frequent spats with Indian players.
Hyderabad paid Rs 5.4 crore ($1.35 million) for Symonds while Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who retired from international cricket early last year and was the first player to be auctioned, was bought by Jaipur at Rs 1.8 crore ($4,50,000) with Adam Gilchrist, too, going to Hyderabad for Rs 2.8 crore ($700,000).
Even the Board of Control for Cricket in India and IPL officials were surprised at the huge amount that were being shelled out by the different franchisees for their favourite players.
"It is amazing drama. The market is determining the price. That's how a free market economy should flow," Inderjit Bindra, a member of the IPL Governing Council, said.
Controversial Pakistani pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar will join Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata team for Rs 1.82 crore ($455,000). Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene will be joining the Mohali/Chandigarh team for Rs 1.9 crore ($475,000).
In the second round Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble was won by Bangalore for Rs 2 crore ($500,000), off-spinner Harbhajan Singh Rs 3.4 crore while marauding Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya will ply his trade for the Mumbai team. The bid for Jayasuriya was Rs 3.9 crore ($975,000).
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper/batsman Kumar Sangakkara will play for the Mohali/Chandigarh team for Rs 2.8 crore ($700,000).
Reliance Industries owner of the Mumbai team and with star batsman Sachin Tendulkar as their ‘Icon’ also dug deep to get Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya and Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for Rs 3.9 crore ($975,000) and Rs 3.4 crore ($850,000) respectively.
But things were all that rosy for retired Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath and Pakistani batsman Mohammad Yousuf.
No one bid for the duo and they have been put up in the reserve category and will be auctioned later.
A total of 78 players are up for grabs and they will be bought by eight franchises over the next 11 hours. Around Rs 160 crore ($40million) is at stake during the auctions.
Each of the eight franchisees of the IPL - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali and Mumbai - will be allowed to spend a minimum of Rs 13.2 crore ($3.3 million) but not more than Rs 20 crore ($5 million) during the auctions.
The player contracts are for a period of three years with the 44-day IPL starting on April 18 and will feature 59 matches.