Owners of IPL teams have spent $11.89 million to buy 37 players from an extensive list of 108 players, for the upcoming IPL Season. The Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell fetched a whopping $1 million (around Rs 5.3 crore) in the players’ auction by Ambani-backed Mumbai Indians. The owners of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket teams seems much cautious on selecting their buys choosing the young talent rather than bidding more on the established players.
The bidding for the players for IPL-6 started at the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai at 11 am today and went till 4 pm and it was conducted by Richard Madley, a professional auctioneer from London.
On bagging Maxwell, Nita Ambani said that “He is an upcoming youngster. He can bat, bowl and I think he is a great fielder. We had thought of some names before we came here and he was one of them.” Speaking about the team owners' effort to bring Sachin Tendulkar to lead the team, she said, “We have talked to Sachin, it would be upto his decision now,” she said.
Regarding winning a bid for Australian player Ricky Ponting, (who was bought by Mumbai Indians for $400,000, which was the base price), she said with Ponting, there would be two cricketing greats for Mumbai Indians, who would be a great inspiration for the youngsters.
In the nearly five hour long auction process, Royal Challengers Bangalore bought seven players, Sun Risers Hyderabad six players, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians bought five players each, Pune Warriors bought four, Rajasthan Royals bought three, Delhi Dare Devils bought three, Kolkatta KnightRiders and Kings XI Punjab bought two players.
In a bid where the buyers did not show much interest on spin bowlers and wicket keepers, Sri Lankan spin bowler, Mendis, was bought by Pune Warriors for $725,000, the second top bid in the auction. The base price for Mendis was $50,000. Pune Warriors also bagged Australian player Kane Richardson for an amount of $700,000, who was up for sale with a base price of $100,000.
The bidders were predominantly looking for all rounders and fast bowlers, shows the buy outs made in the segment. Pune Warriors also won the bid for all rounder Abhishek Nayar for $675,000 while Thisara Perera by Sun Riders Hyderabad for the same amount. Chennai Super Kings bought fast bowler Dirk Nannes for $600,000, whose base price was $200,000.
While a stiff competition between the teams in bagging the buys was not evident, some of the names suddenly arouse interest in the major teams leading back to back increasing of bidding prices. in today's auction, though there were some surprise moves from the team owners, especially to bring in young blood into the team, without much focus on the established players.
Echoing the trend, Gurunath Meiyappan said that the team was looking at picking up some youngsters though there were some buys of experienced players, thus aging down the team.
One of the reasons the auction prices were $1 million and less, while last year the bids were higher, was that the auction was only for a short period.
“This is not a full fledged auction. There were some positions to be filled and there was a replacement in franchisee (replacing Deccan Chargers with Sun Risers Hyderabad). A full fledged auction will be there next year. So, it is not correct to say that there was no large biddings like last auction,” said Rajiv Shukla, chief of IPL. When asked about the absence of Pakistan players in the list, he said that there are several Pakistan nationals in IPL including some of the umpires, but so far including Pakistan players into the list did not came up. "We have really not applied our mind on this," he said.
Players like Ricky Ponding and Michael Clarke, who were the first in the bidding list, did not invite a counter bid and went straight to the team on the base price, while players like South African all rounder Christopher Morris and Sri Lankan all rounder Sachithra Senanayake who where comparatively at a lower base price saw bidders competing to bag them.
Christopher Morris, who had a base price of $20,000, saw an aggressive bidding and was added to the Chennai Super Kings for $625,000 in the last part of the bid. Similarly, Sachithra Senanayake, who came up in the list with a base price of $50,000, saw a similar bidding in which Kolkata Knight Riders bought him for $625,000.
Jaydev Unadkat, Indian player, whose base price was $100,000 was bought by Royal Challengers for $525,000 against Delhi Dare Devils. Indian bowler Pankaj Singh, for whom the base price was $50,000, was picked up by Royal Challengers for $150,000. Bowler Ravi Rampal was bought by Royal Challengers for $290,000.
Fast bowler Manpreet Gony was picked up by $500,000 by Kings XI Punjab. West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for $210,000.