Chennai, Feb. 3 -- Despite all the talks of the 2013 Indian Premier League auction expected to be a low-key affair, the event had a fair share of twists and turns.
While Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were expected to run away with the riches, it was their Australian compatriot Glenn Maxwell who will laugh his way to the bank after bagging a mind-boggling bid of one million dollars (Rs 5.3 crore) from the Mumbai Indians.
When Nita Ambani, MI owner, walked out of the auction room after the morning session, she took a moment to smile for the shutterbugs. After all, she was a satisfied lady having bought the players she had wished for.
While Maxwell has not been exceptional in his nascent international career as yet, experts Down Under rate him as one for the future. Thus there was a fierce bidding-war between MI and Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 24-year-old, something that shot the all-rounder's base price from $200,000 to one million. List of sold players
"He is an upcoming youngster. He is an all-rounder and I think is a great fielder. We had thought of some names before we came here and he was one of them," explained Nita Ambani.
With John Wright and Anil Kumble realising Maxwell's value having closely tracked the Aussie, none of the other 107 players came close garnering the same price.
Stars get lukewarm response
On the other hand, not a single of the nine franchisees appeared keen on bidding for the former Australian captain Ponting. After there were no bids for Ponting, auctioneer Richard Madley was forced to declare the 38-year-old unsold.
Luckily, Ponting's embarrassment was to last only a few seconds as Mumbai bought him for $400,000 (Rs 2.1 crore).
Similarly, Michael Clarke did not seem to have a lot of takers. The in-form Aussie captain was picked by Pune Warriors India at his base price ($400,000) without any competition.
As expected, Abhishek Nayar enjoyed the fruits of a successful Ranji Trophy season. Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers and Pune were all engaged in a battle to bag the allrounder.
Ultimately, Nayar went to the Pune team for an impressive $675000 (Rs 3.5 crore). Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera, also went for the same price to the Hyderabad team.
Lesser known players like South African all-rounder Chris Morris and Oz pacer Kane Richardson ended up with massive pay.
Their abilities seemed to have been well researched by the teams as Morris went for $625,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) to CSK, while Richardson fetched $700000 (Rs 3.7 crore) from Pune.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.