Vijay Mallya, the owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore, lodged an official protest with the IPL governing council, against the Knight Riders over the Yuvraj Singh bid. Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals made the opening bids for Yuvraj before Mallya raised the paddle to bid at Rs 3.5 crores (approx $583,000). The bid escalated fast and reached the 10-crore mark. However, there was some confusion as the auctioneer apparently failed to notice the paddle raised by Knight Riders.
Knight Riders withdrew their bid at Rs 13.5 crores ($2.25 million) before Mallya raised another Rs 50 lakhs to close the debate.
"For me the hammer went down at 10 crores for Yuvraj Singh," Mallya told Times Now. "We have officially written to the IPL governing council for the decision to be overturned."
Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, confirmed the RCB complaint but said the final decision was that of the auctioneer. "They filed a complaint asking Yuvraj should be given to them at 10 crores and not 14, but we can't do anything now," Biswal said.
Mallya later said that Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers' captain, was "keen" on getting Yuvraj. Along with Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, Royal Challengers now have one of the most star-studded and powerful batting orders in the IPL.
"Virat Kohli, our captain, was very keen on him. That extra Rs 4 crores was somewhat unfortunate, but the auctioneer has the sole discretion," Mallya said. "Everybody saw him look around the room before the hammer fell but he then chose to continue the bidding. So life must go on."
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo