After Saturday's high of millions and big players on the block, the Indian Premier League player-auction suffered a tepid Sunday with team-owners tightening their purses and the surprise packet was Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian who bagged the day's highest bid of $900,000 from Deccan Chargers.
Auctioneer Richard Madley repeatedly said, “he is unsold,” through the concluding day of the auction as initially only 42 among the 264 players found buyers.
In fact Kings XI Punjab did not pick any player until there was a final twist to the proceedings with owners being asked to short-list players from the rejected list for a second chance.
The ten team managements submitted their wish-list and among the 28 players listed, 12 were picked with Kings XI plumping for Dmitri Mascarenhas and Nathan Rimmington.
More drama was to follow as the Pune team asked for a third-chance for Mohammed Kaif, who was earlier rejected twice. Pune started with the base price of $100,000 but Deccan Chargers stepped in and finally Royal Challengers Bangalore had the last laugh at $130,000.
Among those who got a second-wind was left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, who gained $400,000 from Pune. Surprisingly there was no sign of redemption for Sourav Ganguly, as he did not figure in the second wish-list of any of the team owners.
The accent on young players meant that one more legend bit the dust as Sanath Jayasuriya, smarting under his omission from the Sri Lankan squad for the forthcoming World Cup, suffered another rejection as he had no buyers at the base price of $200,000.
Besides Jayasuriya, players like Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Makhaya Ntini also suffered the cold-shoulder on a day when bids ranged from $20,000 to Christian's top-up at $900,000.
The day's big-ticket purchase of Christian, who plied his trade with New South Wales before shifting to South Australia, has played three Twenty20 games for Australia and is rated high by legends like Rodney Marsh.
“He is a very good all-rounder and he is worth the money we spent on him,” said Gayathri Reddy, co-owner of Deccan Chargers.
Another interesting side-light was the loss of key local players for a few teams. Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders lost their seamers L. Balaji, Vinay Kumar and Ashok Dinda to Knight Riders, Kochi and Delhi Daredevils respectively.
In the two-day auction, 354 players came under the hammer and 127 players were purchased by the teams that stepped in with a cap of $9 million each. Among the teams, Deccan Chargers still has $2.1 million in reserve while all the owners jostle around to buy uncapped Indian players from their respective zones. “We have kicked off the IPL with this auction and let's have a good show,” said IPL chairman Chirayu Amin while tired owners cheered and got set for the next step of hiring local players.
Players auctioned on Sunday, team-wise (figures in $):
Chennai Super Kings: Scott Styris, 200,000; Joginder Sharma, 150,000; Nuwan Kulasekara, 100,000; Sudeep Tyagi, 240,000; Suraj Randiv, 80,000; Ben Hilfenhaus, 100,000; George Bailey, 50,000; Francois du Plessis, 120,000.
Deccan Chargers: Daniel Christian, 900,000; Manpreet Gony, 290,000; Chris Lynn, 20,000; Juan Theron, 85,000; Michael Lumb, 80,000.
Delhi Daredevils: Mathew Wade, 100,000; Ajit Agarkar, 210,000; Ashok Dinda, 375,000; Umesh Yadav, 150,000; R. Van der Merwe, 50,000; Venugopal Rao, 700,000; Andrew McDonald, 80,000; Travis Birt, 20,000; Colin Ingram, 100,000; Robert Frylinck, 20,000.
Kings XI Punjab: Dmitri Mascarenhas, 100,000; Nathan Rimmington, 20,000.
Kochi: Thisara Perera, 80,000; R. Vinay Kumar, 475,000; Stephen O'Keefe, 20,000; Owais Shah, 200,000; M. Klinger, 75,000; John Hastings, 20,000.
Kolkata Knight Riders: L. Balaji, 500,000; Jayadev Unadkat, 250,000; R. Ten Doeschate, 150,000; James Pattinson, 100,000.
Mumbai Indians: Munaf Patel, 700,000; Clint McKay, 110,000; Moses Henriques, 50,000; Aiden Blizzard, 20,000.
Pune: Wayne Parnell, 160,000; Mitchell Marsh, 290,000; Jerome Taylor, 100,000; Alfonso Thomas, 100,000; Jesse Ryder, 150,000; Murali Kartik, $400,000.
Rajasthan Royals: Shaun Tait, 300,000; Pankaj Singh, 95,000.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Charl Langeveldt, 140,000; Luke Pomersbach, 50,000; A. Mithun, 260,000; Johan van der Wath, 50,000; R. Rossouw, 20,000; Nuwan Pradeep, 20,000; Jonathan Vandiar, 20,000; Md. Kaif, 130,000.