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Aussies sold out,Christian big buy

South Australia’s all-rounder is bought by Deccan Chargers for $900,000 — 18 times his base price; 18 Australians bought on Day Two; Sourav Ganguly,Brian Lara,Chris Gayle remain unsold

Donning a hero’s role is not unnatural for Daniel Christian. In addition to focusing on enhancing his own reputation in the highly competitive climes of the Australian cricket setup,the 26-year-old South Australian all-rounder has — during his career — also had to double up as a figure-head for the indigenous population of the country. But it’s been a responsibility that he has fulfilled dutifully. One of the few Aborigines to have represented Australia,Christian,who belongs to the indigenous nation of Wiradjuri,even took time off to skipper Australia’s indigenous development squad to England two years ago.

To the cricketing world,however,the hard-hitting batsman was still a relative unknown. But on Sunday in the midst of all the glitz and glamour of the IPL auction drama,it was Christian who ended up hogging the limelight as he landed the most lucrative contract of the second day with Deccan Chargers completing a successful $900,000 bid.

Incidentally,in contrast to the almost thrill-a-bid action that was witnessed on the opening day,a certain lull had descended upon the auction-hall until Christian’s name had popped up. With only a few Indians up for grabs and the day dominated by a multitude of domestic,uncapped cricketers from around the world,auctioneer David Madely’s hammer had sounded the double-bass beat for a major part of the auction as very few names had even attracted the slightest interest in the franchises.

The demand for Christian,who has to date played three T20 internationals for Australia,though was apparent from the word go,as the Chargers and Kochi launched into an intense bidding war. But after staving off both Kochi and Delhi,who presented a late challenge,it was the Chargers who finished up winning Christian’s services for the next two IPL seasons,dishing out a handsome price for him in the bargain.

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And while Christian ended up as the toast of the day,he wasn’t the only Australian to have earned a fat IPL deal. On a day where,despite the reluctant bidding,a total of 18 cricketers from Down Under were signed up by the various franchises,the likes of the hardly-known Stephen O’Keefe,Nathan Rimmington and Christopher Lynn too emerged from absolute anonymity to bag roles in the most glamorous T20 extravaganza in the world.

While international players like Ben Hilfenhaus and Shaun Tait were always expected to attract the attentions of the team owners,many an eyebrow was raised when the franchises lifted their paddles for the likes of Travis Birt and Aiden Blizzard. The bidding for under-19 World Cup winning captain Mitchell Marsh,meanwhile,proved to be a family affair with the Pune Warriors — coached by father Geoff — and Kings XI Punjab — who had bought older brother Shaun the previous day — fighting for him.

Yadav,Rao hit jackpot

The likes of Wasim Jaffer,VRV Singh — and Mohammad Kaif,who was eventually signed up by Royal Challengers Bangalore when his name was brought up astonishingly for the third time — did remain unsold after two rounds of bidding for them.

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But following the trend of the first day,the present-day stars Umesh Yadav and Munaf Patel,too bagged lumpsum deals; the biggest surprise among the Indians was the $700,000 Y Venugopala Rao was bought for by the Daredevils.

Sourav Ganguly was not even brought for the re-bidding process but left-arm spinner Murali Kartik earned an IPL contract with Pune late in the day. But on a day where all the franchises looked to play safe and concentrate mainly on cheap-buys; it was Christian who ended up in the limelight. Though this time,not just for his roots.

First published on: 10-01-2011 at 02:45:10 am
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