Twenty-four-year old Glenn James Maxwell of Australia was bought for a record sum of $1 million by Mumbai Indians at the IPL 2013 players auction here on Sunday. Maxwell, whose base price was just $2,00,000 got a record sum because of his credentials as an upcoming player. His all-round ability and utility as a player, particularly in the shortest format of the game helped him bag the deal.
Indians RP Singh ($4,00, 000; RCB), Abhishek Nayar ($6,75,000; Pune) and Manpreet Gony ($5,00,00; Punjab) got a good deal as they were bought for a ‘handsome’ price.
Both Mumbai and Sunrisers keenly bid for Maxwell. As the bid started one could see all the team owners in rapt attention and disbelief that an youngster could command such a big price. Mumbai outbid Sunrisers to buy their prize scalp.
Out of the 108 available players, just 37 players were sold. Former Indian captains Anil Kumble (Mumbai Indians), Rahul Dravid (Rajasthan Royals), K Srikkanth (Sunrisers) and Indian cricketer VVS Laxman (Sunrisers) attended the auction.
The auction had its share of glamour with both Shilpa Shetty (Rajasthan Royals) and Preity Zinta (Kings XI Punjab) taking part animatedly in the bids. Co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla (both KKR) and Vijay Mallya, team owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), were conspicuous by their absence. However, Indian opener Gautam Gambhir (KKR) and former India player Brijesh Patel (RCB) took part in their absence.
The first player to be auctioned was Ricky Ponting. Once his name was announced there was pin drop silence as none put up their hands to bid. When the auctioneer was about to strike off Ponting’s name, Mumbai Indians picked the former Australian captain for his base price ($4,00,000). Similar was the case of Ponting’s teammate Michael Clarke. He was roped in by Pune for the same base price.
Surprisingly RP Singh, who is out of the Indian team was bid by CSK, RCB, RR. First it was a tussle between RCB and RR. Then it was fight between Sun Risers and RCB. RCB finally won picking RP Singh four times his base price of $100,000.
Similarly, Indian all-rounder Abhishek Nayar and bowler Manpreet Gony were keenly bid and bought by Pune and Punjab respectively. Many keepers in the fray, including the likes of Matt Prior, Denesh Ramdin and Prasanna Jayawardene, went unsold. “Kumar Sangakarra is available plus we have Parthiv Patel. We did not feel the need to have another wicketkeeper even if it was the likes of Matt Prior,’’ said K Srikkanth, mentor of Sunrisers.
South African all-rounder Johan Botha, a marquee player in this auction, was aggressively bid by Delhi Daredevils and Pune Warriors. Finally Delhi bought him for $450,000.
CSK, who had released Doug Bollinger, picked up Dirk Nannes for $6,00,0000. They also bought Christopher Morris of South Africa, who bowls fast medium for $6,25,000 to strengthen their bowling resources. There were no takers for Bollinger, who had a good stint with CSK.
Rajasthan roped in Fidel Edwards ($2,10, 000) and James Faulkner ($4,00,000) to strengthen their bowling attack. “Our bowling attack was the problem. We targeted the right players and got it,’’ said Shilpa Shetty.
Among the spinners in the fray, Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka was lapped up by Pune for$7,25,000. Mendis reserve price was just $50, 000. Srikkanth was overall happy with the auction and believed buying the right players has strengthened the Sunrisers’ team.