Last year, 86 players were available within a total spending pool of $40 million. This time, 50 players make the list for a spending pool of $13.59 million.
Meanwhile, with the Pakistan government banning their players from touring India, six cricketers’ contracts with their respective franchisees have been terminated, while three franchisees, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, have simply suspended their contracts with Misbah-ul Haq, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal and Umar Gul. This means, players whose contracts have been terminated will have to be a part of the auctions once again, if and when the government lifts the ban. However, the players suspended can be a part of their respective teams in a similar scenario. For all Pakistani players not available, the franchisees can opt for replacement players.
In an attempt to increase their fan-following, the IPL governing council has allowed the franchisees to play matches in catchment areas. Franchisees can either play one or all matches in catchment areas. This means, Mumbai can host matches in Goa and Maharashtra.
Australian batsman Michael Clarke, who was the third costliest player in the list, pulled out of the auction window on Thursday. It is unlikely that Clarke will now be a part of the auction next year either with Mr Modi saying: “He will not be a part of the IPL either this year or the next.”
A total of 17 Aussies, seven Englishmen, five Sri Lankans, seven South Africans and six West Indians will be up for sale. Let the show begin.
When England allowed its players to participate and make some quick money in Indian Premier League, all eyes were on Kevin Pietersen. Bangalore Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya cleared his intentions from the very beginning saying he's not going to let go this flamboyant batsman and he didn't let him. KP was bought for $1.55 million to become the richest IPL player. Wow! Great tag! Great money!
Pietersen has played 87 One-Day Internationals and has amassed 3047 runs at an average of 48.36, his highest being 116. The team that bags this aggressive player would not just add on to the star quota but also some aggressive play.
He is critic's baby and for IPL, he's the perfect Twenty20 material. Freddie has style, attitude and the right approach towards the game. The bid battle for this glitzy cricketer was won Chennai Super Kings who bought him for $1.55 million. His base price was $950,000. He's will be one the most sought after players this season.
Flintoff has appeared in 138 ODI matches and has hit 3391 runs with his highest being 123. His average has been 32.60 with a superb strike rate of 89.02. IPL franchisees would definitely crave for Flintoff's mystique.
J P Duminy
J P Duminy is the new sensation of South African line-up who played a crucial role in Proteas' Test triumph Doun Under. Duminy showed eagerness to play in the star-studded Indian Premier League and he was taken with the same by Mumbai Indians. He got $950,000 which is thrice his base price $300,000.
Duminy's ODI career took off in the year 2004 and he has played 42 matches till now. He has scored 993 runs at an average of 38.19. His recent form and success factor makes him all the more desirable to be part of any franchise's squad.
Australian pacer Shan Tait can claim huge money to his name and make the heads turn unexpectedly. He has been off the field since January. He was bought for $375, 000 by Rajasthan Royals.
The quickie has bagged 38 wickets so far in just 22 matches he has played in his ODI career. He has an average of 25.28. Tait has the ability to give the best of players a run for their money. Watch out for him!
England's in-form Owais Shah became a Delhi Daredevil for $275,000, which is $125,000 more than his base price.
Shah has played 52 ODI matches in total and has accumulated 1288 runs at a good strike-rate of 79.90. Franchisees would surely want a player like him in his side who's in good touch and has been consistent enough for his side.
England's star batsman Paul Collingwood always expressed his passion for Twenty20 cricket and Indian Premier League was the best place to cash in his craziness for the format. His base price was $250,000 and it was expected that he might get much more than that. But those expectations were met with disappointment as he drew $275,000.
Collingwood has played 154 ODI matches in his career so far and has piled up 3773 runs. He has an amazing strike rate 76.19 which makes him desirable enough to be roped in the team.
Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh allrounder, is the first player up for sale from Pool F. There were no bids for him initially but just before the hammer went down, Kolkata made a bid at the base price of $50,000. It was the start of the most dramatic sale at the auction.
Kings XI Punjab entered the race, competing against Kolkata, for Mortaza. The bids spiralled slowly towards $400,000 and when the auctioneer asked Punjab if they want to bid $410,000, Priety Zinta nodded. With teams largely sticking to raises of $10,000, the bidding went on and on and on. Kolkata finally touched the $500,000 mark. Punjab went further at $550,000. The atmosphere in the room grew quieter as the bids rose and the auctioneer attempted to speed up the process. Kolkata was the first to bid $600,000 for Mortaza at which point Punjab bowed out of the race. It was the longest lot in the auction, almost as long as a short chess game. Kolkata's purchase of Mortaza was a bit similar to Ishant Sharma's surprise $950,000 tag towards the end of the first auction last year. Mortaza's $600,000 tag was 12 times his base price - the highest jump at last year's auction was Manoj Tiwary's, from $100,000 to $675,000.
Bet there are celebrations in Narail, Mortaza's hometown. What a moment for Mortaza, he's the first Bangladesh player to be bought at the IPL auction this year. Wonder what Shakib is thinking? He's had such a fabulous year with bat and ball and yet there were no bidders for him. Do the franchises look at ICC rankings? Mortaza's base price was $50,000 and he went for $600,000. I think I missed out England allrounder Samit Patel who was on sale in the previous pool. He remained unsold.
The second player on sale from Pool F is Yusuf Abdulla from South Africa but there were no bids for him. South Australia batsman Daniel Harris and Kemar Roach, a bowler from West Indies, also did not attract bids. Neither did Aaron Bird, the New South Wales bowler, and Michael Dighton, the Tasmanian batsman.
Chennai made a bid for George Bailey, a Tasmanian batsman, for $50,000 and won it because there were no other bidders. Michael Hill, who was the U-19 captain for Australia in the last World Cup, also remained unsold, as did Brett Geeves, the Tasmanian bowler.
Kings XI Punjab asked for Jerome Taylor and they will get him at his base price of $150,000. That brings us to the end of the player auction. It's been intense and manic.
Chennai Superkings started Ravi Bopara's bidding at $150,000. Bangalore raised the bid to $160,000. Mallya raised the bid to $180,000 after Chennai said $170,000. Bangalore and Chennai were the only bidders for Bopara, raising the bid to $200,000, $250,000 and $275000. Kings XI Punjab made a grand entrance at $400,000 and eventually raised it to $450,00, the winning bid.
Ravi Bopara is of Punjabi origin and returns to his roots. There were no bidders for another England allrounder Luke Wright though.
Sri Lankan medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara's bidding began at $100,000 but there were no takers. His recent performances against India have evidently not convinced many in India. Kulasekara's team-mate Thilan Thushara was about to be sold to Chennai at $120,000 but Kolkata raised it to $130,000. Chennai clearly wanted Thushara so they went up to $140,000 and got him
Vijay Mallya, the owner of Bangalore Royal Challengers, has kept the captaincy options open. Minutes after picking up Kevin Pietersen at US$1.55 million, Mallya said he was happy with the price he got him at. "The captaincy options are open. The team management will take a decision on it." The Royal Challengers, who finished second last the previous year, were led by Rahul Dravid. However, Pietersen will be available only for three weeks.
"He's a superb addition to our team and I was very keen to purchase him," Mallya said. "I got him for a price I was willing to pay. We needed to strengthen our batting. I would like him to play for all six weeks (of the league), if not this year then next year.
"We looked at the balance of the team after exchanging Zaheer Khan with Robin Uthappa. We have South Africans, Australians and team balance was important. I was keen to buy Kevin to give it the balance. We are delighted to buy him."
Tyron Henderson's bidding started at $100,000 and the interested buyers were Deccan and Rajasthan. Mumbai eventually raised the bid to $200,000. Deccan bid $300,000 but Rajasthan went up to $325,000 after which Deccan raised it further to $350,000. Rajasthan continued to compete, forcing Deccan to raise their bid to $400,000. Rajasthan raised it to $425,000 but Deccan came back with a bid of $450,000. Not to be outdone, Rajasthan went up to $475,000 but Deccan would not be deterred, raising it to $500,000. The bids continued to escalate and Deccan just when Deccan seemed to have secured Henderson for $600,000, Rajasthan went up to $650,000. Deccan did not raise their bid and Tyron Henderson went to Rajasthan.
Henderson, a medium-pacer, is the leading Twenty20 wicket-taker, with 74 scalps from 62 games. A very useful hard-hitting batsmen too, he was utilised to good effect by Middlesex in their winning campaign in last year's Twenty20 Cup in England.
Australian opener Phil Jaques, and South African batsmen Ashwell Prince remained unsold. Andre Nel also had no buyers
Bangalore made the opening bid for Paul Collingwood at his base price of $250,000. The hammer was about to come down when Delhi Daredevils raised to $275,000. Bangalore did not raise their bid and Collingwood went to Delhi, who have filled up their two available slots.
Here's a re-cap of the action so far. Both Pietersen and Flintoff sold for $1.55 million, becoming the most expensive players in the IPL. Pietersen was picked up by Bangalore while Chennai bought Flintoff. Duminy, whose base price was $300,000, was sold for $950,000 to Mumbai Indians. Rajasthan made the first purchase of the auction, buying Shaun Tait for $375,000.
Fidel Edwards was bought by Deccan Chargers at his base price of $150,000 but there were no takers for Brad Haddin, Stuart Clark and Chamara Kapugedera.
Delhi Daredevils made a bid for Owais Shah at his base price of $150,000. There were no other bids for a while before it started escalating towards $200,000 and beyond. Delhi continued to bid and raised it to $225,000, competing against the Kolkata Knight Riders, before Bangalore entered the race and bid $250,000. Delhi persisted and raised to $275,000, which was the winning bid for Owais Shah.
Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin remained unsold at his opening price of $250,000. He will re-enter the auction later. Stuart Clark was also not bought at his base price of $250,000.
Fidel Edwards, the West Indies fast bowler, has been bought by Deccan Chargers for $150,000. it was his base price. There were no takers for Sri Lanka's Chamara Kapugedera, whose bidding started at $150,000
Kevin Pietersen started at $1.35 million, his base price, and was bid for by Bangalore Royal Challengers. There was a delay before Rajasthan raised the bid. Bangalore, however, raised the bid again and bought Pietersen at a cost of $1.55 million, the same price as Andrew Flintoff. Pietersen and Flintoff are the most expensive players in the league.
Bidding for England's star allrounder Andrew Flintoff started at $950,000. Rajasthan Royals entered the bidding late for Flintoff, raising the bid to $1.5 million, but Chennai's bid of $ 1.55 million clinched Flintoff. Flintoff is now the most expensive player in the IPL.
Mumbai Indians bought South African batsman JP Duminy for $950,000. Duminy's base price was set at $300,000. There was intense bidding for Duminy between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Defending champions Rajasthan Royals have made the first buy in this year's auction, purchasing Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait for $US375,000.