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Pollard, Bond laugh their way to the bank

With 13 slots to be filled from 66 foreigners in the fray, fast bowlers seemed to be the most in demand during the Indian Premier League auction. New Zealand’s Shane Bond, a former ICL recruit, and Pollard were emerged as the biggest gainers, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni. See graphics

cricket Updated: Jan 20, 2010 01:31 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

The final Indian Premier League (IPL) auction before all players are put in the sale basket, turned out to be low key as expected with most franchisees playing their cards to perfection.

With 13 slots to be filled from 66 foreigners in the fray, fast bowlers seemed to be the most in demand. The West Indies duo of Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach emerged biggest gainers. Three slots remained unused with four teams not utilising their entire purse of $750,000 (Rs 3.4 crore).

Another fast bowler to benefit was New Zealand’s Shane Bond, a former Indian Cricket League (ICL) recruit. He and Pollard were bought through the tie-break formula introduced this time.

Four teams participated in the tie-breaker for Pollard with Mumbai Indians bagging the hard-hitting all-rounder for an undisclosed sum, while Kolkata Knight Riders, who joined late in the auction for Bond, got the better of Deccan Chargers.

Pollard was in demand after his exploits in the Champions League Twenty20 championship last year, but it was the $720,000 (Rs 3.2 crore) which Roach fetched from Deccan Chargers that had IPL commissioner Lalit Modi surprised.

The 21-year-old speedster has played only two Twenty20 games for the West Indies and had a base price of $100,000 (Rs 45.5 lakh) but a bidding war between the Chargers, Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab increased his worth.

Clear strategies

The fact that the franchisees showed interest only in Pollard from among the four players in the first pool was a clear
indication that they had come with a clear idea of whom they wanted.

Among the eight pools, only Pool ‘B’ saw all five players auctioned with three of them — Bond, Roach and Wayne Parnell — being picked for their bowling abilities. Former India international Mohammed Kaif, who was released by Rajasthan Royals and was added to the auction list only on Tuesday, found a team in Kings XI Punjab.

Teams asked to nominate player

With most teams getting players they wanted in the first round, Modi was forced to come in and make a change to the auction process as the franchisees showed interest only in one of the 30 players in pools C, D and E.

Three teams, which still had slots to fill, were then asked to nominate players of their choice. Since they all gave different names, those players were sold to the teams at their base price.