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Cricket goes under the hammer, players sold out

Cricket goes under the hammer, players sold out

Anil Kumble and Andrew Symonds are the two top expensive cricketers.

Mumbai: Suave India skipper Mahendra Dhoni and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds went for astronomical amounts as the Indian Premier League (IPL) conducted the much hyped auction of top international players in Mumbai.

Dhoni, who led India to a tremendous triumph in the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa last year, was picked by Chennai Superkings for a whopping $ 1.5 million (Rs 6 crore). The surprise of the day though was Symonds, who was bought by Hyderabad for $ 1.35 million (Rs 5.4 crore) despite being unpopular in the country because of his recent spat with Indian players.

Dhoni, the only top Indian player not to figure among the icon players (who are not up for bids and will play for their home teams) was a prime property and was lapped up in what was the highest bid in the first list of players and gave the team the big Indian name they missed owing to the absence of an icon player.

Players Teams Base Price Auctioned Price
MS Dhoni Chennai $400000 $1500000
Muralitharan Chennai $250000 $600000
Anil Kumble Bangalore $250000 $500000
Harbhajan Mumbai $250000 $850000
Adam Gilchrist Hyderabad $390000 $700000
Shane Warne Jaipur $400000 $450000
Shoaib Akhtar Kolkata $225500 $425000
M Jayawardene Mohali $250500 $475000
Sanath Jayasurya Mumbai $250500 $975000
Kumar Sangakkara Mohali $250500 $700000
Ricky Ponting Kolkata $340000 $400000
Brett Lee Mohali $340000 $90000
Andrew Symonds Hyderabad $340000 $1.35m
Daniel Vittori Delhi $225000 $325000
Matthew Hayden Chennai $125000 $375000
Brendon McCullum Kolkata $175000 $700000
Jacob Oram Chennai $200000 $675000
Steven Fleming Chennai $340,000 $350000
Graeme Smith Jaipur $220,000 $475000
H Gibbs Hyderabad $220,000 $575000
Chris Gayle Kolkata $340,000 $700000
Shoaib Malik Delhi $292,500 $500000
Shahid Afridi Hyderabad $292500 $675000
Younis Khan Jaipur $292500 $225000
Md Asif Delhi $292500 $650000
Kallis Bangalore $195,000 $900000
Zaheer Khan Bangalore $200,000 $450000
Sreesanth Mohali $200,000 $625000
Dinesh Karthik Delhi $200,000 $525000
AB deVilliers Delhi $175,000 $300000
Parthiv Patel Chennai $200,000 $325000
Kamran Akmal Jaipur $150,000 $150000
Boucher Bangalore $175,000 $450000
Albie Morkel Chennai $200000 $675000
Ajit Agarkar Kolkata $200000 $350000
Shaun Pollock Mumbai $200000 $550000
Irfan Pathan Mohali $175000 $925000
Scott Styris Hyderabad $145000 $175000
T Dilshan Delhi $150000 $250000
C White Bangalore $175000 $500000
Yusuf Pathan Jaipur $125000 $475000
Joginder Sharma Chennai $125,000 $225000
Uthappa Mumbai $200000 $800000
Rohit Sharma Hyderabad $150000 $750000
Laxman Hyderabad $250000 $375000
Gambhir Delhi $175000 $725000
Jaffer Bangalore $125,000 $150000
Kaif Jaipur $125,000 $675000
Raina Chennai $125,000 $650000
Tiwari Delhi $125000 $675000
Chamara Hyderabad $100000 $100000
D Hussey Kolkata $125000 $625000


The Chennai outfit also bagged spin-king Muttiah Muralitharan in the first round for $6,00,000 and later drafted in all-rounders Jacob Oaram of New Zealand and Albei Morkel of South Africa at $6,75,000 apiece. They also managed to pouch top-order left-handers Stephen Fleming and Matthew Hayden for lesser amounts.

Chennai and Hyderabad were the most aggressive in the early rounds with Hyderabad backing Symonds with successful bids for the just retired Adam Gilchrist ($7,00,000) and Herschelle Gibbs ($5,75,000).

Evidently, the eight franchise teams had done their calculations well, proving that the afternoon was not just a glitzy affair owing to the presence of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and cine stars Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta among the franchises.

The Mumbai team, owned by business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and possessing Sachin Tendulkar as their icon player, were late starters in the bid process but quick to gain ground in the second round. Sri Lankan all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya’s stock took no hit for being dropped from their national team as Mumbai offered to pay $9,75,000 for the left-hander. Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh ($8,50,000) too went Mumbai's way in the same round with Robin Uthappa ($8,00,000) and Shaun Pollock ($5,50,000) joining them later in the day.

The IPL, which promises the game not just huge amounts of money but also the chance to showcase the world’s best in the exciting Twenty20 format, gave a glimpse of what to expect in the unique tournament scheduled to begin on April 18 and run up to June 1.


Famed auctioneer Richard Medley conducted the bidding process as teams of six from each franchise gathered in a hall at the Hilton Towers. IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who is also the Indian cricket Board vice-president and said to be the brain behind the league arranged on the lines of professional football, gave the media regular updates.

Shahrukh was late to join, but quick to grab Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar ($ 7,00,000) for his Kolkata team, which boasts of former India skipper Sourav Ganguly as its icon player. West Indian opener Chris Gayle, the only player to have scored a century in the Twenty20 format, against South Africa in the inaugural match of the T20 WC, was taken for $ 8,00,000 along with Kiwi 'keeper Brendon McCullum ($7,00,000) and Ricky Ponting. The Kolkata outfit also bagged India's latest bowling sensation, 19-year-old Ishant Sharma for an astounding $9,50,000.

Zinta's Mohali outfit picked Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene early on while getting Irfan Pathan and Lee close to the million-dollar mark. Mallya’s Bangalore outfit managed Kumble cheap, but were prepared to inch close to the million-dollar mark for South African Jacques Kallis. Jaipur surprisingly offered Yousuf Pathan $4,75,000 while picking a host of players at expected prices.

Surprisingly, there were no early takers for former Aussie pace-man Glenn McGrath, who retired from international cricket last year along with Warne. No one put a hand up for McGrath even at the reserve price of 2,50,000 dollars and he was consigned to a reserve list of players to be bid for later in the day.

Pakistan’s prolific batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who was up for grabs in the second round along with McGrath, too was not wanted, probably because of imminent litigation as he had signed with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) before being enticed back by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Mike Hussey too was not in favour during the regular rounds but his lesser known brother, David, was taken by Kolkata.


Bangalore Team by Vijay Mallya for $111.6 million

Mumbai Team by Mukesh Ambani for $111.9 million

Kolkata Team by Shah Rukh Khan for $75.09 million

Delhi Team by GMR for $ 84 million

Chennai Team by India Cement for $91 million

Mohali Team by Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia for $76 million

Jaipur Team by Emerging Media for $67 million

Hyderabad Team by Deccan Chronicle for $107.1 million

first published:February 20, 2008, 12:09 IST