Yuvraj Singh set a new record as he emerged as the costliest ever buy in the Indian Premier League by going for a whopping Rs 16 crore to Delhi Daredevils while an unheralded K C Cariappa was a surprise pick in the eighth players’ auction in Bangalore on Monday.
In a relatively low key auction, Yuvraj triggered an unexpected bidding war with four teams vying for the 33-year-old cricketer’s services before Delhi clinched the deal for a record price.
That Yuvraj, who had been bought for Rs 14 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, went for such a big price came as a huge surprise given the fact that he is no longer in the Indian team. His current form, however, has been good which could have led to the franchises showing interest in him.
“I think we learnt from last year, and that if we want a player we need to push hard for him. Hence we were prepared to go all the way with Yuvraj and it’s great for the player as well,” Delhi coach Gary Kirsten said justifying the record bid for Yuvraj.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was another player, who commanded a massive price, going to RCB for Rs 10.50 crore at a glitzy auction attended by business bigwigs, Bollywood stars like Preity Zinta and former cricketers such as Anil Kumble, Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming and VVS Laxman — part of various teams’ support staff.
A 20-year-old Cariappa, an off-spinner who has not even played a first-class match, was a stunning pick by the Kolkata Knight Riders. Cariappa was bought for a Rs 2.40 crore in what was perhaps the most shocking buy in an auction where veterans such as Kumar Sangakkara went unsold despite being brought back in the pool thrice.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathew (Rs 7.5 crore to DD), New Zealand pacer Trent Boult (Rs 3.80 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra (Rs 3.50 crore to DD) and Australian opener Aaron Finch (Rs 3.20 crore to Mumbai Indians) were among those who fetched a good price at the auction.
Sri Lankan stalwarts Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Indian pacer Irfan Pathan, South African batsman Hashim Amla and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor went unsold in the initial rounds of the auction. They might still find a buyer in the final round of bidding.
Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, who initially went unsold, suddenly saw a dramatic change in his fortunes when he was brought back in the pool as he went for a hefty Rs 4 crore to Delhi Daredevils.
In all, 88 players went under hammer, of which the franchises bought 67. 23 of the players sold were overseas picks. The franchises shelled out Rs 87.6 crore in purchasing the players.
Yuvraj, who carried a base price of Rs 2 crore, was sold after a fierce tug of war for his services between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore, who bought him last year for Rs 14 crore, at a city hotel here.
Initially, there was four-way bidding among Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils to buy India’s 2011 World Cup hero in the auction conducted by Richard Madley. But once the bidding reached Rs 7 crore, RR and KXIP quit, leaving DD and RCB in the fray.
Delhi Daredevils, who had the largest purse of Rs 39.75 crore among all the eight franchises taking part in the auction, also bought Mathews for Rs 7.5 crore, the third highest price in the first two rounds of auction. RCB, who lost to DD in their bid to get Yuvraj and Mathews, bought Karthik for the second highest price, even though it was Rs 1.5 crore lower than the amount he was bought for by DD last year.
Surprisingly, former England captain Kevin Pietersen, who was bought for Rs 9 crore last year by DD, could get just Rs 2 crore as he was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the base price.
Other players sold in the auction were India Test opener Murali Vijay for Rs 3 crore (to KXIP), England’s Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.5 crore by SRH) and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (Rs 60 lakh by SRH).
New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult also fetched an impressive sum of Rs 3.8 crore from his base price of Rs 50 lakh as he was bought by SRH who joined in after initial bidding between RCB and MI.
There was also intense bidding for Indian pacer Praveen Kumar, who was bought by SRH for Rs 2.20 crore. SRH also strengthened their squad by buying England all-rounder Ravi Bopara for Rs one crore.
Two other all-rounders in West Indian Darren Sammy and South African David Wiese went to RCB for an identical Rs 2.80 crore. RCB also bought young Australian pacer Sean Abbott for Rs 1 crore.
Veteran Australian Michael Hussey returned to Chennai Super Kings at his base price of Rs 1.5 crore.
Indian-origin Australian pacer Gurinder Sandhu, who has played just two ODIs so far, was the surprise pick for Rs 1.7 crore by big spenders Delhi Daredevils who also bought pacer Jaydev Unadkat for Rs 1.1 crore. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha also returned to Mumbai Indians for Rs 50 lakh.
Besides CSK, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals were the other franchises who did not spend much in the auction. RR bought South African all-rounder Christopher Morris for Rs 1.4 crore.
Among the prominent Indians, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pankaj Singh and Munaf Patel could not find any takers Brad Hodge, Alex Hales, Cameron White, Luke Ronchi, and Marlon Samuels, were among the foreign players who did not have any takers.