Maxwell bags million-dollar deal, while stars ignored at IPL 6 auction
Little-known Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the only million-dollar buy in a low-key IPL players' auction where franchises opted to put their money on unheralded names instead of established stars, most of whom went unsold on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Maxwell stole the thunder grabbing a whopping $1 million (Rs 5.3 crore) deal with Mumbai Indians, while among the Indians, all-rounder Abhisek Nair, and pacers R.P. Singh and Jaydev Unadkat invited unexpectedly high bids in the auction where only 37 of the 108 players in the fray managed to find buyers.
The giants of the game who failed evoke much interest from the franchises included Australian captain Michael Clarke and his predecessor Ricky Ponting. Both of them were marquee players but were sold on their base price of $400,000 (Rs 2.1 crore) to Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians respectively.
In contrast, there was a fierce bidding war for Maxwell in which Mumbai pipped Hyderabad Sunrisers to clinch the player. "He is an upcoming youngster. He can bat, bowl and I think he is a great fielder. We had thought of some names before we came to Chennai and he was one of them," said Mumbai owner Nita Ambani on the logic behind making such a high bid for the youngster, who is just eight ODIs and nine T20Is old in the international arena.
Currently playing against the West Indies in an ODI series, Maxwell was ironically out for a first-ball duck in Perth while franchises bid for him.
India's uncapped domestic stars Jaydev Unadkat and Pankaj Singh were among the big gainers in what turned out to be a rather bizarre buying pattern which saw franchises opting mostly for untested players, who have not yet made a mark in the international arena.
South African all-rounder Christopher Morris, who has played just one Twenty20 international, quite literally struck gold at the auction by fetching $625,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) after starting with a measly base price of $20,000. The 25-year-old Morris was bought by Chennai Superkings after an intense three-way bidding war with Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The unusual pattern continued with little-known Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake going much beyond his base price of $50,000. The franchise that initially bid on him were Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings before Kolkata Knight Riders entered the fray to raise his price tag to $625,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) and snatch him from CSK.
Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile was put on sale at a base price of $100,000 but went for $450,000 to Mumbai Indians, who outbid the Rajasthan Royals.
Among the Indians, Jaydev was bought for $525,000 (Rs 2.7 crore) by Royal Challengers Bangalore, much higher than his base price of $100,000. Pankaj, on the other hand, was taken by the same franchise for $150,000, a massive jump from his base price of $50,000.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who performed consistently in the domestic arena, went to Pune Warriors for $675,000 (Rs 3.5 crore), a huge improvement on his base price of $100,000. Another Indian pacer who managed to get a good deal was Manpreet Gony, who went for $500,000 (Rs 2.6 crore) to Kings XI Punjab.
Sri Lankan Mendis was bought by Pune Warriors for $725,000 (Rs 3.8 crore). The bowler, who is no longer the formidable force that he was when he first broke into the scene, came to the auction with a modest base price of $50,000.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera also fetched Rs 3.5 crore from Hyderabad Sunrisers, while Indian paceman R P Singh managed to get a good deal from Royal Challengers Bangalore, who bought him for $400,000 (Rs 2.1 crore).
The nine franchises spent a total of $11.89 million in auction. RCB bought as many as seven players, Sunrisers six, while Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians bought five players each. Pune Warriors were content with buying four players, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils picked up three each and Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings Xl Punjab bought two each.
- Asian Tribune -