Some of the choices made sense; some of them seemed incomprehensible even after detailed study. However, after two days of hectic frantic buying, 127 players joined the 12 who had been retained by their franchises for the fourth edition of the IPL. Here's a look at the way in which the franchises spent their money, and the players who gained and lost the most.
(* all player prices are in US dollars)
The 2008 IPL auction
saw 75 players being auctioned for a cumulative price of $36.8 million. While the spending increased considerably in 2011 ($62.8 million), the number of players auctioned this time round was 127. This meant that the average amount spent per player was approximately the same in both auctions.
A batsman's game, after all
Considering the Twenty20 format is loaded in favour of batsmen and high scores, it came as no surprise that the biggest bids were for aggressive batsmen. Gautam Gambhir has been remarkably consistent, but even he might have been shocked to find he was worth $2.4 million to Kolkata. Yusuf Pathan's recent ODI heroics only added to his growing stature as a genuine matchwinner in the shorter formats, and he was snapped up by Kolkata, again, for a huge $2.1 million, which meant the franchise spent half their purse on two players. Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma were brilliant throughout the previous season and were justifiably among the top buys this year. Saurabh Tiwary's price of $1.6 million was an extraordinary increase over his 2008 pricing of $40,000. The best batsman of last year's World Twenty20, Mahela Jayawardene was picked up by Kochi, one of the two new teams this season, for $1.5 million.
Stars no more?
Brian Lara and Chris Gayle found no buyers, while many other top stars who had enjoyed far higher bids in the 2008 auction sold for much lesser this time around. Despite performing quite well for Deccan Chargers in the previous seasons, Andrew Symonds' price fell by half a million dollars. Rahul Dravid and Ishant Sharma also had more than 50% decreases in prices. Kevin Pietersen, who was superb in the World Twenty20 in 2010, experienced a sharp decrease from his $1.35 million value in 2008 to finish at $650,000.
World Twenty20 matters
Did the top performers in the 2010 World Twenty20
fetch good prices at the auction? In most cases they did. Jayawardene, the best batsman of that tournament, was sold at a whopping 275% greater than his base price of $400,000. While Pietersen's value fell from his 2008 price, he still went at well over 60% of his base price. Dirk Nannes and Eoin Morgan gained significantly, but Michael Hussey gained just $25,000 over his base price of $400,000. Ashish Nehra, who was picked up by Pune Warrirors, gained more than 300% of his base price of $200,000.
Rags to riches, relatively speaking
Saurabh Tiwary's huge hitting in IPL 2010
fetched him a massive price of $1.6 million this time round, nearly 40 times his value in 2008. R Ashwin was one of the top bowlers in the previous edition for Chennai, which justifies the increase in his value this time. While the prices for Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav raised a few eyebrows, the $900,000 tag for Australian all-rounder Dan Christian was a big surprise for most.
Indians do best
The 52 Indian players were auctioned off for a total price of nearly $44 million, followed by Australia, who had 38 players auctioned for close to $15.5 million. South African and Sri Lankan players were also host buys, while New Zealand, England and West Indies, together, had a total of just 15 players auctioned.
Finalists spend the least
Chennai Super Kings, the champions in last season's IPL and Champions League, and Mumbai Indians, the runners-up in IPL 2010, spent the least in the 2011 auctions. While Chennai and Mumbai retained four players each, Deccan Chargers, Punjab and Kolkata chose not to retain any players from the 2008 auction. Rajasthan Royals, the inaugural champions, retained Shane Warne and Shane Watson, and bought just six players. Kolkata Knight Riders, who bought 12 players, spent over $8.5 million, which was nearly $710,000 per player, the most for any franchise.