|Player:||A Flintoff, KP Pietersen, Mashrafe Mortaza|
DateLine: 7th February 2009
The auction of players for the DLF-IPL second edition surpassed the first in many ways here on Friday with Chennai set to become the home for Andrew Flintoff for three weeks in April and Bangalore for Kevin Pietersen. The Englishmen, in auction for the first time, had a good outing at the Taj Aguada with the two former captains turning out to be the top draw and commanding a price of $1.55 million each for 21 days of the competition from April 10.
Fortune favours Mortaza
The other big story of the day was Bangladesh seamer Mashrafe Mortaza being bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at 12 times above his reserve price of $50,000.
Delhi Daredevils picked Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood for $275,000 each while Kings XI Punjab, after an initial round of fierce bidding between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), ensured that Ravi Bopara will travel to Mohali. Though Luke Wright and Samit Patil remained unsold, the franchises who have replacement rights can still rope them in because they are part of the initial list of 115 players made available for the auction.
Mumbai Indians picked up South African Jean-Paul Duminy ($950,000) while Rajasthan Royals took Duminy’s compatriot Tyron Henderson for $650,000.
CSK, which had bought Mahendra Singh Dhoni for $1.5 million last year, shelled out $600,000 in excess of Flintoff’s reserve price. RCB got the flamboyant Pietersen by paying $20,000 more than the reserve price.However, Flintoff and Pietersen will receive much less because of their 12 per cent commitment to their agents and a possible 10 per cent disbursement to their respective counties. Moreover they will be paid by the number of matches they play for their team.
Franchise owners happy
“Flintoff is an outstanding cricketer and he will indeed improve the balance of the team,” said CSK’s N. Srinivasan.
“Pietersen and Robin Uthappa, whom we traded with Mumbai Indians for Zaheer Khan, will significantly strengthen our batting. I was prepared to pay more but how much I would be stretched is irrelevant now. The captaincy issue is wide open,” said RCB’s Vijay Mallya.
Both said they had consulted Dhoni and Rahul Dravid respectively.
The IPL Chairman and Commissioner, Lalit Modi, said the bidding for Duminy was aggressive.
Apart from Duminy, Mumbai Indians also picked Kiwi seamer Kyle Mills and Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful.
The eight franchise owners filled all the 17 slots available from a lot of 49 (Shane Harwood withdrew from the auction) but what made six franchises mere spectators and chewing their nails was the way Kings XI and KKR sustained their interest for Mortaza.
Kings XI’s smart move
By being in constant touch with coach Tom Moody, Kings XI owners Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia outwitted KKR’s John Buchanan by making the latter loosen the purse strings for Mortaza and got a bargain in West Indian fast bowler Jerome Taylor for $150,000, who was unsold at the first round of bidding. KKR was entitled to buy one player and it came into the last round with $1.21 million intact. Knowing this fact, Mohali increased the bids and finally forced a desperate KKR to pick Mortaza.
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