Like the past Indian Premier League auctions, this year too the sporting extravaganza saw the twists and turns.
Ravindra Jadeja expectedly proved the red-hot pick of the 2012 IPL auction after defending champions Chennai Super Kings splurged well over their entire purse of $2 million dollars to buy him on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Saurashtra all-rounder was among the players from the terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise. His growing stature and value as an all-rounder, besides his brilliant fielding that helped India win the Twenty20 tie in Melbourne on Friday, was underlined by the deal. Out of 17 players sold in the morning session, six are Indian players.The MS Dhoni-led CSK already have a strong and balance side but Jadeja was considered important to push on in the new season. The Chennai team was tied with Deccan Chargers at $2 million but the holders put down a higher sum in the tiebreak. The tie-break sum was not disclosed but it should definitely be close or even better than the record $2.4 million Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out to buy Gautam Gambhir last year.
Although VVS Laxman went unsold, some of the Indian players had it very good as well. Still Karnataka Ranji captain and paceman R Vinay Kumar netted a cool $1 million after his ‘home’ side Royal Challengers Bangalore picked him. The youngsters stock has been on the rise and he has shown glimpses of his talent in Australia. He is also a handy bat. He also came into the pool as one from the KTK team, who had bought him for 475,000 last year.
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the other to top the million mark, Delhi Daredevils getting him for $1.4 million to bolster a team that had looked a bit uneven from the auction last year that reflected on their performance in the 2011 IPL.
Parthiv Patel went to Deccan Chargers for $650,000 and left-arm paceman RP Singh ($600,000) to Mumbai Indians, who had the money after getting Aussie left-arm Mitchell Johnson for a cheap $300,000.
The other surprise pack was Caribbean spinner Sunil Narine, whose intelligent spin bowling was a feature of Trinidad and Tobago’s show in the Champions League. After a robust bidding with Mumbai Indians,
Kolkata Knight Riders purchased him for $700,000.
Unlike England and most Aussie players who went unsold mainly due to their international schedules clashing with the marquee league over the next two seasons, West Indies should be happy with the representation.
The 23-year-old Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $450,000, nine times higher than his base price.
Winners of the inaugural season, Rajasthan Royals, made some interesting picks, buying Aussie all-rounder Brad Hodge (475,000), Sri Lanka’s talented young stumper Dinesh Chandimal ($50,000) and ageing but clever left-arm spinner Brad Hogg ($180,000).
Shilpa Shetty’s side also bought the combustible and injured paceman S Sreesanth. Although the IPL chiefs had said on Friday that he and Johnson will not be in the offer, he definitely was and the Royals getting the pacer at the base price of $400,000.
The auction was held under the shadow of Sahara pulling the plug, after announcing their withdrawal from the league. They pulled out backing for Pune Warriors India and the India team. Much will be heard about this controversy which comes with the IPL still recovering from the problems with Kochi franchise.