If ever you needed proof of just how big an impact the Indian Premier League has had, here it is: 64 cricketers, most of them local, were auctioned at a hotel here for the first season of, yes, you guessed it, the Bareilly Premier League (BPL).
So, what were the kind of prices these cricketers commanded? Well, the star attraction at the BPL will be a certain Gaurav Shukla, who commanded the highest price of, hold your breath, Rs 10,000 — 100 times the base price of Rs 100.
Not a mean feat when you consider that only 10 of the cricketers were offered over Rs 1,000, while the other 54 were auctioned for Rs 200-300.
The other big money deals involved UP U-16 cricketer Tarun, who was bought for Rs 7,600 and Mohit Raj Sharma, bought for Rs 2500.
Local sport goods manufacturing company Brosid, multinational marketing unit Ample, Bareilly’s biggest photo colour lab Natraj and shipping company Ventures own the four ‘franchisees’ and spent a combined sum of Rs. 78,000 at the auction.
According to details made available to HT, Brosid led the spending, paying Rs 30,000 for 21 players. In second place was Ample, investing Rs 21,000 in 14 cricketers. Natraj auctioned 15 cricketers for Rs 17,900, while Ventures Shipping Company bought 14 players for Rs 9,000.
The four-day event is being organised by the Bareilly Cricket Academy and offers Rs 20,000 to the first two finishers, and Rs.10,000 to the team finishing third. “We were looking for such auctions ever since the first IPL took place,” BCA director Saurabh Bhambari told the Hindustan Times.