Players from the defunct Kochi Tuksers outfit had it good at the 2012 player auctions for the Indian Premier League, with three of them landing the biggest bids. Pune Warriors, whose owners Sahara have fallen out with the BCCI and the IPL governing council, did not participate in the auction.
Ravindra Jadeja (USD 2 million), Mahela Jayawardene (USD 1.4 million) and R Vinay Kumar (USD 1 million) were the three cricketers who received seven-figure bids at the auction held in Bangalore today. A total of 25 players were bought [see the list], six of them Indians. The only Indians not bought were VVS Laxman and VRV Singh.
Another Kochi player, Parthiv Patel, was bought by Deccan Chargers for USD 650,000.
Chennai Super Kings, who took Jadeja, were in a tie with Deccan Chargers. Auction rules stipulated that an undisclosed sum has to be put on the table by both sides to seal the deal. Jadeja turned out to be Chennai’s only buy in the day. Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians bought five each, the most on the day.
Two Kochi players who didn’t benefit from having to switch sides were Muttiah Muralitharan and S Sreesanth. Muralitharan, who was bought for USD 1.1 million last year, was snared by Royal Challengers for USD 220,000, a fall of 80 per cent. Sreesanth, sold for 900,000 last year, fetched only his base price of 400,000 from Rajasthan Royals.
Sunil Narine, who’d impressed with his off-breaks in the Champions League and in the Caribbean T20 competition, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a 700,000 – 14 times his base price.
Harbhajan Singh, who is on the Mumbai table today, said they were keen to get Narine on board after his performance for Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League.
Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood went to Kings XI Punjab for USD 200,000. Mahmood is now a British citizen, having played his last match for Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera went to Mumbai Indians for USD 650,000 – 13 times his base price of 50,000 and a whopping 712 per cent jump on his previous pay at Chenani Super Kings of USD 80,000.
He has come in the spotlight for his big-hitting in ODIs, particularly his cameo against India in the World Cup final in Mumbai.
The out-of-form Laxman, base-priced at USD 400,000, surprisingly did not draw any bids.
“Laxman has been a great player for India and Deccan, but we’re looking for a younger brand of players,” said Darren Lehmann, the team coach.
“It’s a commercial decision taken with their own views in mind,” IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, explaining the teams’ decision to not buy Laxman.
The teams steered clear of West Indies, Sri Lanka, England, South Africa and Australia cricketers, who will not be available for the full length of the tournament. [See the list of notable exclusions]
From the England line-up, only Kevin Pietersen, who moved to Delhi Daredevils for USD 2 million, will take part in the IPL.
Australia are due to play in the Caribbean this summer while England will tour Sri Lanka.