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Bangladesh's Mortaza snapped by Kolkata team for $600,000

Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata IPL team snapped up Bangladesh fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza for a whopping $600,000 after an intense round of bidding, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.

cricket Updated: Feb 06, 2009 14:01 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had fixed his base price at a modest $50,000 and would have been praying to at least get a look in. He would have hardly imagined then that he would be the man the two Bollywood stars Preity Zinta and Juhi Chawla would be fighting an intense battle on.

Kings XI Punjab's Zinta and Kolkata Knight Rider's (KKR) co-owner Chawla went broke for the Bangladesh medium pacer and the later -- advised by former Australian coach John Buchanan -- finally winning the bid at $600,000.

The money is 12 times more than the reserved price set by the player for himself.

Initially, Team Chennai also showed some interest in the player but once his price tag went over the $ 200,000 it was left for Kings XI and Kolkata Knight Rider to slug it out.

The owners of both the teams were seen consulting each other and even the team officials over phone as the bidding war intensified. KKR had the final say in the battle after King's XI Punjab pulled out of the race after a half and hour tussle.

King's XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia denied that they were just looking to up the price for the Bangladeshi speedster as they were aware of KKR's interest in him. "We were also interested in signing him. But we had a specific price in mind for him and once that was crossed we backed out," he told reporters.

Having lost out on Mortaza, Kings XI then went on to buy West Indies medium pacer Gerome Taylor for $150,000, which was also his base price.

First Published: Feb 06, 2009 13:46 IST