Pietersen and Flintoff smash the bank
English duo of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff attracted largest bids going for identical USD 1,550,000 each to at the auction for the second season of IPL.
As the first round of bidding got underway, Vijay Mallya’s Royal Challengers made the successful bid for Pietersen while Flintoff joins Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings.
They also overtook Dhoni as most expensive players in the IPL. He had fetched $ 1.5 million at Chennai last year.
Mumbai Indians made a successful bid for South African JP Duminy at USD 950,000 while Australian tear-way pacer Shaun Tait was lapped up by defending champions Rajasthan Royals for USD 375,000.
Mallya, whose fondness for Pietersen is no secret was understandably elated.
“I was always keen to get Pietersen,” he said.
“He would be a superb addition to the team. We had a list of players before the auction and KP topped that list. We needed to strengthen our batting and I was prepared to pay more for him.”
“It is a worthwhile investment and ensure the balance that we wanted in our team”, he said.
Mallya also refused to comment on speculations that Rahul Dravid would be stripped of captaincy in favour of Pietersen.
In the second round of bidding, the GMR Group owned Delhi Daredevils got the English pair of Owais Shah for USD 275,000, Paul Collingwood for USD 275,000, while West Indian quickie Fiedel Edwards went for his base price of USD 150,000 to Deccan Chargers
Sri Lanka’s middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedara and Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who had base prices of USD 150,000 did not attract any buyers at the bidding and were left unsold.
A surprisingly ferocious battle ensued for uncapped South African Tyron Henderson, before he was finally bagged by the Rajasthan Royals for USD 650,000.
Australia’s Phil Jaques, and South African Ashwell Prince were left unsold while England’s all-rounder Ravi Bopara at USD 450,000, became King’s XI Punjab’s first purchase at the bidding.
Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara was unsold while Thilan Tushara was brought over by Chennai Super Kings for USD 140,000. Luke Wright of England too went unsold.
Royal Challengers made a successful bid for New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder at USD 160,000 while his team-mate Kyle Mills for USD 150,000.
South African bowler Andre Nel, who donned Mumbai Indians colours last year, remained unsold.
An epic battle, bordering on comical at times, ensued for Bangladesh’s only player sold- Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, which was the highlight of the fourth round. Starting from a base price of USD 50,000, an epic clash between Preity Zinta of Mohali and Juhi Chawla of KKR, saw Mortaza’s worth plummet to a whopping USD 600,000 before latter finally clinched the deal.
West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Smith and fast bowler Jerome Taylor, fetched USD 150,000 each from Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab respectively.
Rakib-Al-Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh, James Franklin of New Zealand, Morne Van Wyk of South Africa, Samit Patel of England, Steven Smith, Ashley Noffkle, Michael Dighton, Jonathan Moss, Bryce McGain, Michael Dighton, Michael Hill of Australia drew blank at the auction.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said that the contracts of all the auctioned players will be for two years.
With a total of USD 13.59 million in their pocket, the eight Indian Premier League franchisees have the option of buying 17 players from a pool of 50.
In the auction, 18 players from Australia, seven from England, five from Sri Lanka, three from New Zealand, seven from South Africa, six from West Indies and four from Bangladesh were up for grabs. Prior to the bidding, Chennai Super Kings had the maximum spending limit of upto USD two million for two slots.
The Deccan Chargers USD had 1.9 million for two slots, the Knight Riders had USD 1.21 for one slot, the Kings’ XI Punjab USD had 1.45 million for two spots, Mumbai Indians USD had 1.76 million for three slots, Rajasthan Royals USD 1.875 million had two slots and finally Bangalore Royal Challengers with USD 1.945 for two slots.