Reputations counted for little as former India captain Sourav Ganguly and several other big names found no takers for the fourth edition of the IPL even as unheralded Australian Daniel Christian was bought for an astounding USD 900,000 (RS 4.14 crore apprx) on the second day of the auction here on Sunday.
Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya also failed to find a buyer on Sunday joining a high-profile list of unsold players which included among others West Indies batting great Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Mark Boucher and Graeme Swann.
Ganguly’s name, in fact, did not even come up in the second round of bidding, the players for which were handpicked by the franchises, prompting angry fans to stage protests against his former team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Bengal capital.
A total of 241 of the 353 players in fray went unsold in the first round of auctions, which spanned over two days. 28 players came up for a re-auctioning on the request of the franchises but again some of them strangely went unsold.
New Zealand’s hard-hitting batsman Jesse Ryder (Pune, USD 150,000), spinner Murali Karthik (Pune, USD 400,000) and Mohammad Kaif (Bangalore, USD 130,000) were among the lucky 12 who managed to sneak through into the cash-rich event.
At the end of the two-day auction all the franchises still had some money left from the USD nine million cap on a rather dull second day considering that Gautam Gambhir had gone for a record Rs 11.04 crore to KKR on the first day.
In a relatively low-key day, it was Christian who hogged the limelight as he was bought by Deccan 18 times more than his base price of USD 50,000.
No one could have even imagined that the 27-year-old from New South Wales will go for such a high price. He has played just three Twenty20 Internationals for Australia and is primarily a fast bowler who can hit a long way in the lower order.
“We believe Dan Christian is a good buy. He is good fast bowler and a decent batsman. He is also a brilliant fielder,” Deccan Chargers owner Gayathri Reddy said.
Delhi Daredevils were the biggest gainers as they snapped up fringe fast bowlers. Umesh Yadav, who had a base price of USD 50,000, went for a whopping USD 750,000 while pacers Ashok Dinda (USD 375,000) and Ajit Agarkar (USD 210,000) were bought by Delhi Daredevils.
Munaf Patel was bought by Mumbai Indians for USD 700,000 (apprx Rs 3.1 crore).
Ranganath Vinay Kumar was bought by Kochi for USD 475,000 while Manpreet Gony was bought by Deccan for USD 290,000. However, paceman VRV Singh was a prominent Indian player who went unsold.
Chennai Super Kings, who have been on a retention mode, also got back Sudeep Tyagi (USD 240,000), Joginder Sharma (USD 150,000) while roping in Suraj Randiv for as cheap as USD 80,000.
However, it was Kolkata Knight Riders who poached L Balaji from CSK for USD 500,000. KKR retained Jaidev Unadkat buying him for USD 250,000.
There were a few surprises also as unfancied Netherlands cricketer Ryan ten Doeschate was bought for USD 150,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Doeschate was ICC’s Associate Player of the Year.
Another surprising pick was India discard Venugopal Rao getting a staggering deal of USD 700,000 (Rs 3.22 crore) from Delhi Daredevils.
Sahara Pune Warriors, who remained quiet for the better part of the first session, got a good deal in South African pacer Wayne Parnell (USD 160,000) and West Indian Jerome Taylor (USD 100,000).
There was some stiff bidding between Pune and Kings XI Punjab for Australian Mitchell Marsh. However, the junior-most Marsh will play for Pune under his father Geoff Marsh’s tutelage rather than being a teammate of his elder brother Shaun.
Michael Yardy of England, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills of New Zealand, Ravi Bopara, Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan of England and Fervez Mahroof of Sri Lanka, Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies, Makhaya Ntini and Lonwabo Tsotsobe of South Africa were among the prominent players who went unsold today.
After the lunch session, maximum players went unsold save South African batsman Francois du Plessis who was taken by Chennai Super KIngs at USD 120,000. Another surprise was Alfonso Thomas who was taken by Sahara Pune Warriors for USD 100,000. KKR bought Australian quick James Pattinson.
Like on Saturday, Indians were the hot picks for the franchises but the bidding war never quite touched the frenzy it did on Saturday, when apart from Gambhir three others went for more than USD two million.
Gambhir’s mind-boggling deal with KKR beat the previous high set by the English duo of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff (USD 1.55 million) last season.
Gambhir, who was captain of the Delhi Daredevils last season, saw his price skyrocket 12 times from his base price of USD 200,000 (Rs 92 lakh) while three other Indian players — Yusuf (USD 2.1 million), Rohit Sharma (USD 2 million) and Robin Uthappa (2.1 million) crossed the two million mark.
Yusuf’s younger brother Irfan, who has not played any cricket this season, was taken by Delhi Daredevils for a surprisingly high amount of USD 1.9 (Rs 8.74 crore) million.