This seems to be one business that’s recession-proof. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has been assured a minimum price of $1.35 million at the second IPL auction, on February 6.
This means that, at the very least, he will be the joint second-highest paid player in the IPL, along with Andrew Symonds.
If the bidding hots up – which is a very strong possibility – Pietersen could outstrip M S Dhoni’s fee of $1.5 million and become the highest paid IPL star.
Apparently, Vijay Mallya’s Royal Challengers Bangalore are very keen on acquiring Pietersen. The team, which finished seventh last year, lacks an explosive batsman. With his switch hitting and tactical inputs, Pietersen could play a major role for them.
Pietersen won’t be the only one pulling in megabucks. Teammate Andrew Flintoff, one of the top all-rounders in the world, has a base price of $950,000. With squads like Mumbai Indians and Team Chennai eying Freddie, he too could join the million-dollar club. As TOI reported on Wednesday, Australia’s vice-captain Michael Clarke too is set to join that exclusive band.
Earlier, IPL had short listed 88 cricketers for the second auction, but 21 names have since been added to the list. Former England captain Paul Collingwood and Steve Harmison have base prices of $250,000 while James Anderson and Ian Bell have reserve prices of $200,000. England’s spinner of Indian origin, Monty Panesar, has a base price of $100,000.