When his name went under the hammer for the IPL auction, Dinesh Karthik was sitting a few kilometers away, in the dressing room at the Chinnaswamy stadium, feeling disappointed with himself. He had just played on to a delivery from Vinay Kumar and walked back for 27, following a first-innings score of 91 in the Irani Cup match against Karnataka. His Rest of India team were on their way to a heavy defeat.
Minutes later, someone in the dressing room yelled out that Karthik had been sold for Rs. 12.50 crore ($2.08 million) to Delhi Daredevils.
"Somebody in the dressing room was just screaming that I went for such a price so that's how I heard," Karthik told ESPNcricinfo. "Very happy, definitely very happy and I wasn't expecting such a big amount. Actually, I came to know a bit later as we didn't have access to television in the dressing room."
Karthik attracted the second-highest bid on the first day of the auction, behind Yuvraj Singh's Rs 14 crore ($2.33 million) bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Last year, playing for the victorious Mumbai Indians, Karthik amassed 510 runs with two fifties at a strike-rate of 124.08 and featured in all the 19 matches Mumbai played. Kings XI Punjab had bought him in the 2011 auction for $900,000, and he had moved to Mumbai in a pre-auction transfer in 2012, in exchange for Rajagopal Sathish, for an undisclosed sum.
Now, Karthik is back in Delhi, for whom he had played for the first three seasons, but as part of a completely new Daredevils squad that features another marquee player, Kevin Pietersen.
"I'm happy I'm back in Delhi but definitely I had a great time in Mumbai," Karthik said. "I'll miss the franchise, I had a great time there.
"I think it will be wonderful. He [Pietersen] is a legend so it's going to be great to share the dressing room with him and he'll have a lot of things and inputs to say and It'll be great to play with him."
Even though Karthik will be pleased with the big contract, not being part of India's World T20 squad will have been a letdown, especially since he had been named among the 30 probables. But Karthik said he would continue to try and do well in whatever matches he plays.
"I think I just missed the bus so there's nothing else to it," he said. "I just need to perform better and get back to the team. If I do well in IPL, it will be a good thing to happen. At the same time it's important I score runs even in domestic cricket and everywhere else I play. I've got a few matches to come now and I'll try and do the best in those series and take it from there."
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo