Mumbai, the business capital of India, turned crazy on Wednesday morning with everything going haywire once the bidding of the much-celebrated BCCI launched DHL Indian Premier League (IPL) got off the blocks.
For a moment each and every stockbroker of the city shifted his attention to a different BSE, Bombay Sports Exchange, Sensex that was swinging at a much rapid speed in a city’s top five-star hotel. The bidders who attended the mega-auction ranged from Bollywood, cricketing superstars to Business tycoons of the country.
Not to everybody’s surprise, right from common men to cricket pundits, Indian wicketkeeper and one-day skipper and notably the captain of the inaugural T20 World Cup team Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the bidders delight.
Dhoni was fetched away by Chennai Super Kings (Madras franchise) for a whooping sum of $1.5 million in a rich field of more than 70 international players from across the globe. Kings’ settled the Dhoni deal for maximum amount of the auction after a base price of $400,00 in the very first round and which eventually remained the biggest bid till the end.
Andrew Symonds, the Australian all-rounder who is been in the news connected to India off late, also got a surprise deal by the big-hearted Indians as they must have pardoned him after his recent row with Harbhajan Singh.
Symonds pocketed the second highest price of $1.35 million in the third round of bidding. Symonds bought by Hyderabad franchise; his base price was fixed at $250,000.
The 45-day inaugural IPL Twenty20 cricketing carnival starting on April18 at Bangalore, features eight city-based teams playing in as many as 59 home and away matches, for a period of over 44 days that will conclude with the grand finale on June 1.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, all having a status of “icon” players reserved for their home cities, were the four other who got in to the millionaires list without any bidding as they will be paid 15 per cent more than the next highest-paid at the franchise.
Thanks to the whooping moolah fetched up by Jayasuriya, Ishant, Kallis, and Lee that made sure Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, and Yuvraj crosses the million-dollar mark as they were guaranteed 15 percent in excess of the highest-bid player of their respective cities.
The 19-year-old rookie Indian speedster Ishant Sharma, whose repute is rising in the international circuit with every passing time, picked up by the Kolkata team for $950,000 being the fourth highest on Wednesday.
Ishant Sharma’s was rewarded for his recent eye-catching performance in Australia. Ishant also left behind the other prominent speedsters in the fray. Australia’s Brett Lee fetched for $900,000 by Mohali, while Pakistani showman Shoaib Akhtar bought by Kolkata for $425,000.
Australia's soon to be retiring wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist, whose base price was $300,000, got the next highest bid of $700,000 from Hyderabad, while Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed by Chennai for $600,000, his reserved price was $250,000.
The Mohali team got Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene for $475,000; Jayawardene’s base price was $250,000. Former Australia spinner Shane Warne went to Jaipur for $450,000.
In the second round of bidding Anil Kumble was bought by Bangalore for $500,000. Harbhajan Singh with $250,000 as base price bought by Mumbai for, $850,000. Mumbai fetched Sanath Jayasuriya for $975,000 (Base price $250,000). Kumar Sangakkara acquired by Mohali for $700,000 (Base price $250,000).
Ricky Ponting, whose base price was set at $325,000, was bought for $400,000 by Kolkata in the third round. New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, with base price of $250,000 bought for $625,000 by Delhi. Australian batsmen Matthew Hayden fetched away by Chennai for $375,000, his base price was $225,000.
Another New Zealander Brendan McCollum, whose base price was set at $175,000, bought by Kolkata for $700,000. His compatriot all-rounder Jacob Oram attracted $675,000 from Chennai. The base price was $200,000.
The members of Twenty20 triumphant team also attracted excess bids in respect to their base prices. Mumbai acquired Robin Uthappa for $800,000 (base price $200,000).
Rohit Sharma went to Hyderabad for $750,000 (base price $150,000), while Gautam Gambhir’s home team Delhi purchased him for $725,000 (base price $200,000). Delhi also paid $675,000 (base price $100,000) for Manoj Tiwary.
Stephen Fleming went to Chennai for $350,00. Graeme Smith, South African cricketer whose base price set at $250,000 bought for $475,000 by Jaipur. Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer with base price of $250,000 was bought by Hyderabad for $575,000. West Indian all-rounder Chris Gayle attracted $800,000 from Kolkata.
Pakistan all rounder Shoaib Malik, whose base price was set at $300,000, bought for $500,000 by Delhi. Pakistani Shahid Afridi attracted $675,000 from Hyderabad. The base price was $225,000.
Another Pakistani batsman Younis Khan bought by Jaipur at the base price $225000. Pakistani bowler Md. Asif, whose base price was $225,000 bought for $650,000 by Delhi.
South African Jacques Kallis attracted $900,000 from Bangalore after the base price was $225,000. Indian speedster Zaheer Khan whose base price was set at $200,000 was also fetched for $450,000 by Bangalore.
S Sreesanth went to Mohali for $625,000. The base price was $200,000. Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, with a base price of $200,000 was bought by Delhi for $525,000.
South African cricketer Ab de Villiers, whose base price was set at $200,000 bought for $300,000 by Delhi while Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher attracted $450,00 from Bangalore. The base price was $200,000.
Chennai bought Parthiv Patel for $325,000. The base price was $150,000 while Jaipur bought Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal for $150,000 at its base price.
A pool of 10 players including Glenn McGrath, Mohammed Yousuf, Simon Katich and Shivnarain Chanderpaul, who went unsold initially, had an extra round of bidding, which was later added to auction.
England is the only most important Test playing nation, whose players didn’t have any involvement in this year's tournament. They skipped the bidding process due to their country and county commitments.
The two players who withdrew at the last moment from the auction were Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf and Ashwell Prince of South Africa.