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Tait becomes a Royal

Fast bowler Shaun Tait will join fellow Australian Shane Warne at IPL champion Rajasthan Royals, while Englishmen Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen have both been sold for more than $US1 million.

Having sat out the inaugural IPL season last year following his self-imposed break from the game, South Australian quick Tait nominated for Friday's auction at which he held a reserve of $US250,000.

And Tait was the first player auctioned in Goa on Friday, with the reigning champions the Royals, who are captained by Warne, successfully bidding $US375,000 for his services.

With England players eligible to take part for the first time, the Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers splashed out a record $US1.55m each to secure the services of Flintoff and Pietersen, respectively.

And South African batting tyro Jean-Paul Duminy, who so impressed on the Proteas' recent successful tour of Australia, has been picked up by the Mumbai Indians $US950,000.

With another 13 players still to be auctioned from the initial pool of 50 available players that will be given two-year contracts, Flintoff and Pietersen's fees eclipse the $US1.5m that the Super Kings paid for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya said soon after picking up Pietersen that he had been 'prepared to pay more'.

"I was very keen on getting Kevin ... Kevin Pieterson was on our list," Mallya said. "Team balance was important and Kevin was certainly important in maintaining that balance. I think it was a very worthwhile investment."

source - sportal.com.au
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