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KP, Flintoff become highest paid cricketers

cricket Updated: Feb 07, 2009 00:18 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Englishmen Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff became the costliest players of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after they both were sold for an identical figure of $1.55 million in the auction for the second season in Panaji on Friday.

Chennai Superkings snared the English all-rounder beating competition from other bidders while Bangalore Royal Challengers were the runaway winners for Pietersen at the Taj Aguada ballroom.

Friday’s auction may have lacked the glamour quotient and the hype that surrounded the inaugural auction a year ago but there were surprises as Bangladesh’s Mashrafe Mortaza emerged as the biggest winner and many of the Australians, including wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin, Phil Jaques and Stuart Clark, went unsold.

Auction set A
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Shaun Tait (Aus)
Bowler
250, 000
375,000
Rajasthan
Kevin Pietersen (Eng)
Batsman
1,350,000
1,550,000
Bangalore
Andrew Fintoff (Eng)
All-rounder
950, 000
1,550,000
Chennai
JP Duminy (SA)
Batsman
300,000
9,50,000
Mumbai
Also missing the bus were Andre Nel and Ashwell Prince of South Africa, Luke Wright of England, Ramnaresh Sarwan of West Indies and Chamara Kapuragedra of Sri Lanka during the auction that lasted for just over two hours and saw 17 players being sold for just over half the amount available to be spend for all the eight teams.

Auction set B
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Paul Collingwood (Eng)
All-rounder
250, 000
275,000
Delhi
Owais Shah (Eng)
Batsman
150,000
275,000
Bangalore
Fidel Edwards (WI)
Bowler
150,000
150,000
Hyderabad
Unlike the inaugural auction the teams were also better prepared in terms of their homework about the players and one hardly saw any panic bidding from them.

Auction set C
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Thilan Tushara (SL)
All-rounder
125, 000
140,000
Chennai
Jesse Ryder (NZ)
Batsman
100,000
160,000
Bangalore
Ravi Bopara (Eng)
All-rounder
150, 000
450,000
Mohali
Kyle Mills (NZ)
Bowler
150,000
1,50,000
Mumbai
Tyron Henderson (SA)
All-rounder
100,000
650,000
Rajasthan
That was evident from the start when Royal Challenger owner Vijay Mallya could not hide his smile with other franchises bidding intensely for the first set of players that included Australian speedster Shaun Tait, South African Jean-Paul Duminy and Englishman Andrew Flintoff.

Auction set D
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Dwayne Smith (WI)
All-rounder
100, 000
100,000
Hyderabad
Jerome Taylor (WI)
Bowler
150,000
150,000
Mohali
Mohammed Ashraful (B'desh)
Bowler
75,000
75,000
Mumbai
Tait was the first to be sold and Mallya only joined the race when Pietersen was put up for auction as fourth and last player in the first group. “We were very clear about what we wanted,” the Chairman of the United Beverages Group later told reporters.

Auction set D
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Dwayne Smith (WI)
All-rounder
100, 000
100,000
Hyderabad
Jerome Taylor (WI)
Bowler
150,000
150,000
Mohali
Mohammed Ashraful (B'desh)
Bowler
75,000
75,000
Mumbai
“We were very keen on having Kevin in our team after studying the balance of the side,” said Mallya, adding they were prepared to shell out more money for the explosive batsman if needed.

On the other hand, Chennai Superkings went flat out to buy Flintoff.

Auction set E
Player
Batsman/Bowler
Base Price ($)
Final Price ($)
Team
Mashrafe Mortaza (B'desh)
Bowler
50, 000
600,000
Kolkata
George Bailey (Tasmania)
Batsman
50,000
50,000
Chennai
Team owner N Srinivasan, who had made the highest bid of $1.5 mn in the inaugural auction for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, insisted that the all-rounder was highest on their wish list and expected him to play an important role in the entire set up.

Flintoff, Pietersen and the other English players will be available for three weeks after the IPL and the England and Wales Cricket Board reached an agreement to this effect a few weeks ago.