IPL 2013 auction February 3, 2013

Million for Maxwell on day of surprises


The IPL 2013 auction was supposed to be a relatively quiet one where settled franchises looked to fill in a couple of holes in their squads but, as is the case every year, it had plenty of surprises. Most of the biggest earners were players barely known outside their home countries, while marquee names like Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting attracted only one bid each.

Australia's Glenn Maxwell talked himself up as his side's X-factor at the World Twenty20 last year, and though he flopped there, Mumbai Indians splurged a million dollars for his services. "He is an upcoming youngster," Nita Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, said. "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."

Australia have a wealth of young fast bowlers but few would have bet that the one getting the largest paycheque would be 21-year-old South Australian Kane Richardson, who was bought by Pune Warriors for $700,000.

Another player with only one international cap, South Africa allrounder Chris Morris, was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for $625,000. Kolkata Knight Riders spent a similar amount on Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake, who has struggled to make the national side but hit the jackpot on a day when the country's premier slow bowler, Rangana Herath, went unsold. Another Sri Lanka spinner, Ajantha Mendis, who wasn't picked up at the auction last year, was back in favour among the franchises, earning $725,000 from Warriors.

Among the Indians, as expected, Mumbai allrounder Abhishek Nayar was the most expensive signing, sold for $675,000 to Pune. There were surprises as well, as Saurashtra's fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat, who got only one game last season for Knight Riders, earned $525,000 from Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab's fast bowler Manpreet Gony, who has disappointed since the inaugural IPL in 2008, earned $500,000 from Kings XI Punjab.

Some of the franchises had clear-cut strategies. Super Kings were out to bolster their bowling, and picked up five bowlers including Morris, the experienced Australia quick Dirk Nannes ($600,000) and Sri Lanka's teenaged offspinner Akila Dananjaya. Royal Challengers also wanted to spruce up their fast bowling, signing four quicks including West Indies' Ravi Rampaul and RP Singh, who has had plenty of success in the IPL, and Australia allrounders Moises Henriques and Daniel Christian.

One of the major weaknesses in Delhi Daredevils' squad had been a shortage of quality spinners, which they have tried to rectify by bringing on board South Africa's Johan Botha and Sri Lanka's Jeevan Mendis. Last year's winners Knight Riders were mostly satisfied with their squad and were among the least active franchises at the auction, only buying two players. Kings XI Punjab, who haven't had much success in the past couple of years, also bid for and bought only two players.

Several players who were expected to be sold weren't bought, including Australia's big-hitting batsman, Aaron Finch, who has earlier been part of Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, who hit a T20 century against South Africa little more than a month ago, and South Africa's Vernon Philander, who has had a spectacular year in Test cricket.

In all, 37 players were sold on the day and $11.9m was spent. While most franchises used up substantial portions of their US$12.5m salary cap, three of them - Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI and Royals - used only around half their purse. Royals have the leanest squad, with only 21 members, while Warriors reached the maximum of 33 players.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on February 5, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    @wiseshah. OK, I might have been a little curt with your post, Let me share why. Mahmudullah career strike rate for T20 is 108! I mean 108. Seriously, this is down the bottom 10% of strike rates. Maxwell's is 144, his List A strike rate is 115, that's 115 for 50 over games & Mahmudullah is 108 for T20! Gettting the point yet? Maxwell's bowling economy is similar, but average is better and let's not even go to fielding. So let's go past thie jingoistic country bias & try for once to input some logical thought process in posts. Again, and it bears repeating, Mahmudullah would not get a start in any of the BBL sides, nor the IPL sides. Sorry to shatter your illusion, but que sera.

  • Peter on February 5, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @wiseshah. You''e dreaming pal, but, you are welcome to dream all you want. Seriously, Madmullah woulldn't get a start in any of the BBL teams & have any of the IPL teams expressed any interest?

  • Peter on February 5, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @landl. Mate, the simple answer is it won't. Seriously, I have seen him bat against NSW a few times & he isn't (IMHO) among the best 16 batsmen in Australia, even now in the longer format. He is not a frontline spinner, so the question begging to be answered is how can be he be selected when he hasn't shown the necessary form to warrant selection for tests? The response to the Maxwell knockers re: the IPL auction was based on my views on him as a T20 & List A abilities, of that there is no doubt he is on target to be stand among the best about. His selection for the test touring team is probably more left field than Doherty, he is simply not up to test standard (fielding excepted, he is outstanding at that). When guys like Doolan have delivered in the longer format & still gets ignored (don't' start me with SOK) is very puzzling to me. I will, however wait until the series, but it will be with much hope than anything else.

  • t on February 5, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    Kumble, Tendulkar, Bhajji, Ponting, John Wright.. Mumbai Indians assembling the 00's All Star team?

    if MI have money to burn they should just burn it. they'll get more bang for their buck from that then from hiring a 40 yr old ponting who even in his prime was a failure in t20s & in india. even he must be laughing at their folly

    one odd innings & they put down a mill for a guy (maxwell) who's not even proven himself completely in his home conditions let alone in india. they did this earlier too (richard levi) & havent learnt from their mistake. shows that money cant buy you smarts

  • shahadat on February 4, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    mahmudullah riad could have been 100 times better option than aussie labeled maxwell, this guy didnt prove anything. riad and nasir from BD was 100 times better choice than any one from this list

  • Sanjay on February 4, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I personally feel franchises should spend as much money as possible on home grown cricketers, so they could sustain this league with Indian cricketers alone. A lot more money could be spent on training youngsters and made into T20 specialists. Then we dont have to worry about national side players getting burned out and perhaps not doing well in tests. Its ridiculous that nobodies from Australia and SA and other countries are getting paid so much money.

  • Tuan on February 4, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    for me south african vernon is a good fish. he should be dependable considering his international performance.

  • John on February 4, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @Chris_P: I wouldn't dispute that Maxwell is destined to be a very good T20 player. The thing is, he's just been selected for the Australian test squad. In IPL, the kind of crazy slogging that he indulged in at Michael Clarke's request in the first WI ODI will be expected all the time. It's why he was worth so much to the owners. He's a young player trying to make himself into a test player. How is weeks of wild slogging going to help him- and more importantly, how is it going to help Australia?

    It's not a criticism but a statement of fact to say that Australia's main concern at the moment is that the young batting talent isn't anything like as impressive as the young bowlers. Maxwell could be a good young batsman, but he needs to learn the fundamentals and he won't do it in the IPL.

  • Charles on February 4, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Incredible price !!!!! . He has great potential but I would want to see some more consistant batting and bowling as there are plenty of fine young players with potential in the world . He will now have to really perform to justify the price tag and I wonder if he is good enough to open for Mumbai.

  • Graem on February 4, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    With Australian coaches advising Indian owners to splash out on Australian cricket talent, the continuing decline of the Australian cricket team in all formats looks assured.