IPL auction 2009

Flintoff and Pietersen most expensive buys

Dileep Premachandran in Goa

February 6, 2009

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Top Curve
List of players sold (base price in brackets; all numbers in US$)
  • Shaun Tait to Rajasthan Royals 375,000 (250,000)
    JP Duminy to Mumbai Indians 950,000 (300,000)
    Andrew Flintoff to Chennai Super Kings 1.55 million (950,000)
    Kevin Pietersen to Bangalore Royal Challengers 1.55 million (1.35 million)
    Fidel Edwards to Deccan Chargers 150,000 (150,000)
    Owais Shah to Delhi Daredevils 275,000 (150,000)
    Paul Collingwood to Delhi 275,000 (250,000)
    Tyron Henderson to Rajasthan 650,000 (100,000)
    Ravi Bopara to Kings XI Punjab 450,000 (150,000)
    Thilan Thushara to Chennai 140,000 (100,000)
    Jesse Ryder to Bangalore 160,000 (100,000)
    Kyle Mills to Mumbai 150,000 (150,000).
    Dwayne Smith to Deccan Chargers 100,000 (100,000)
    Jerome Taylor to Punjab 150,000 (150,000)
    Mohammad Ashraful to Mumbai 75,000 (75,000)
    Mashrafe Mortaza to Kolkata Knight Riders 600,000 (50,000)
    George Bailey to Chennai 50,000 (50,000)

    Unsold players: Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Chamara Kapugedara, Ashwell Prince, Phil Jaques, Andre Nel, Luke Wright, Nuwan Kulasekara, Samit Patel, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne van Wyk, Steven Smith, Ashley Noffke, Gulam Bodi, Daren Powell, Tamim Iqbal, Jon Moss, Bryce McGain, James Franklin, Aiden Blizzard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Michael Klinger, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Prasanna Jayawardene, Dominic Thornley, Yusuf Abdulla, Daniel Harris, Kemar Roach, Aaron Bird, Michael Dighton, Michael Hill and Brett Geeves.

Bottom Curve

The second IPL auction, held in Goa on Friday, has made Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff the highest-paid cricketers. Each fetched bids of US$ 1.55 million in an event that lacked the glamour and sheer drama of last year's auction but had its moments of surprise. The bidding war for Mashrafe Mortaza, the 25-year-old fast bowler from Bangladesh, stole the show; he eventually went for $600,000 to the Kolkata Knight Riders - 12 times his base price; a close second was Tyron Henderson, a relative unknown but actually the world's leading wicket-taker in this format, who was snapped up by Rajasthan for $650,000.

Shaun Tait was the first player to go under the hammer with the Rajasthan Royals snapping up the Australian fast bowler for $375,000. Next up was JP Duminy, the South African batsman, who turned out to be one of the star buys at the auction. Most people had predicted Duminy (base price: $300,000) would breach the $1 million barrier and he nearly did. But in buying Duminy for $950,000 the Mumbai Indians effectively ruled themselves out from the bidding for Pietersen and Flintoff, who took home a combined purse of $3.1 million.

When the Bangalore Royal Challengers didn't even enter the bidding for Flintoff, it was obvious which way the cards were going to fall. The Royals tried to keep pace, but after buying Tait they had only $1.5 million left. The Deccan Chargers showed no interest in Flintoff, and the Chennai Super Kings had their man, even if he ended up costing more than MS Dhoni had at the first auction.

The Royals tried again with Pietersen, but there was only going to be one winner. Vijay Mallya had come with a single-point agenda, and with Mumbai and Chennai out of the running and Deccan once again quiet, he had the talisman he sought for less money than he thought he would have to pay.

What followed was a bit of an anti-climax until Henderson's name was called. Most of those gathered had never even heard of him. Henderson (base price: $100,000) played for South Africa just once, in a T20 game against India at the Wanderers in December 2006, and his exploits with Middlesex in their shocking pink outfit hadn't been well documented here.

But the teams clearly knew of his prowess in this form of the game, and the Chargers matched the Royals bid for bid as the price went beyond half a million. By the time the deal was clinched, the Royals had made $200,000 more than they did for Shane Warne last year. Smart business for a 34-year-old? Only time will tell.

But even the collective intake of breath at the Henderson deal was nothing compared with the shock and awe that greeted the bidding war between Kolkata and Kings XI Punjab for Mortaza. Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's player of the moment, and his captain, Mohammad Ashraful, hadn't attracted any bids, but it was soon obvious that something was afoot when the bids went more than three times higher than Mortaza's reserve price of $50,000.

Kolkata had just one slot to fill; with Umar Gul's contract suspended and Shoaib Akhtar's cancelled, they were certainly in the market for a fast bowler. Punjab, who could miss Brett Lee for most of the season, shared their interest though, and there was more than one gaping mouth once the bidding went past $400,000. Bear in mind that far more lauded individuals like Stuart Clark had gone unsold earlier.

The bidding lasted nearly half-an-hour before Punjab threw up their hands. "It makes great sense for Kolkata," Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, said. "Bangladesh falls under Kolkata's catchment area as per a new proposal we are discussing on letting franchises stage matches overseas. This could work well for the KKR later," he said.

The Kings XI had already caused a shock earlier in the morning, by paying $450,000 for Ravi Bopara, whose appearances for England have been fitful at best. Preity Zinta spoke of him being a "great player", an assessment that Bopara's mum would no doubt agree with.

The other England players to be picked up at the auction were Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood, who were bought by Delhi Daredevils for US$ 275,000 each. Speaking about the four England players who were bought at the auction, Modi said: "They are big stars and we are looking forward to their participation in the IPL."

Punjab picked up Jerome Taylor later, after he had been ignored the first time round, leaving the Mumbai Indians to make the last purchase, Ashraful, for $75,000.

If there was a surprise, it was the Chargers' relative lack of activity, given the dismal season that they had last year. Perhaps, with Andrew Symonds now likely to be involved for the long haul, they expect those already on board to showcase their talent better than they did in the opening season.

Modi spoke gleefully later of how his brainchild had proved to be recession-proof, but we'll know the truth of that once the ad slots start being sold for the telecasts. Flintoff, Pietersen and Duminy are undoubtedly exciting additions, while there are bound to be a few glum faces in Australian dressing rooms.

Of the 17 players up for auction [Michael Clarke and Shane Harwood pulled out], only Tait and Tasmania's George Bailey earned deals.

The auction also threw up some shocks as international players such as Ramnaresh Sarwan, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Shakib Al Hasan and Samit Patel remained unsold.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by vnmsr on (February 10, 2009, 22:08 GMT)

Its sensible to fight for Flintoff and pay howmuchever just to have him in the team - the energy he brings to the whole team is tremendous, no need to mention his bowling strength and commitment! If only he had a healthy ankle...! But why Pietersen? KP is undoubtedly an awesome player, but I don't think he is a 20-20 material though! I think they overvalued him. Well, Chennai has got much stronger with Freddy in the team now and Bangalore has got no better!

Posted by RaselAhmed on (February 7, 2009, 19:13 GMT)

I'm upset. Why? Number.01 ICC all-rounder Sakib-Ul-Hasan were unsold. It was so unpleasent for IPL. It was also unpleasent for many young players who are really better than many older famous players,who really expart for T20.

Posted by jamrith on (February 7, 2009, 11:36 GMT)

Surely with the whole world reeling from a monumental economic slump, the bidding should have been more modest. Of-course, that's market forces at work, but I expect that these owners will get their come-uppance when TV revenues and gate attendances fall as I am sure they will. I wonder how many of these teams will stay afloat after this year.

Posted by lovesky on (February 7, 2009, 7:33 GMT)

Its not unusual that people hardly recognise Mohammad Ashraful. But watch this player in 2009 IPL. Though tiny, on his day he is way forward to any of the best batsman in the world.

Posted by dhchdh on (February 6, 2009, 23:06 GMT)

Reply to Dan-argent Dude you need to wake up...or risk missing the new world order. I had reservations about IPL last season but my trip to India has changed my prespective. I wish I had seen season 1 as well. I am surely gonna get Setanta package now that our boys are gonna be in action.Cant wait to see KP justifying his price tag. BRING IT ON......

Posted by SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on (February 6, 2009, 22:45 GMT)

No the 15% extra for the icon has been scrapped for this season, they will get the same as they got last season.

Posted by KrishnaKapadia on (February 6, 2009, 18:08 GMT)

For me Owais Shah to Delhi Daredevils 275,000 (150,000) was the best buy. Samit patel is also a huge asset to any team, as he showed in the Stanford T20.

Posted by dhchdh on (February 6, 2009, 18:02 GMT)

Should make intersting viewing this year. I wish I had seen season 1 as well.

Posted by gtbkgp on (February 6, 2009, 17:38 GMT)

everybody is thinking that flintoff n pieterson have become the costliest player But the bottomline is that now after this auction the costliest player is RAHUL DRAVID as he being an icon will get 15%more tahn flintoff

Posted by Dan-argent on (February 6, 2009, 17:26 GMT)

Luke Wright and Samit Patel should count themselves lucky they were not sold. All England players who appear in the IPL should have their central contracts taken away, because they will obviously earn enough from the ridiculous sums the 'franchises' paid for them.

Posted by promal on (February 6, 2009, 14:56 GMT)

I have a question...... Since Pietersen sold for $1.55m, does that mean that Dravid, Bangalore's icon player, will get paid 12% more than that, thereby making him the most expensive player in the IPL? If not, then I wonder if the auro of the icon has subsided!

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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