By Nishad Pai Vaidya
It was a day of intense bidding in Chennai as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 auction stole the headlines. While it wasn’t the mega-auction, it did manage have its own bag of surprises. There is always a bit of suspense as to who will get the highest price? Whether the big names will go unsold? The IPL auction doesn’t cease to amaze as some of the relatively unknown players continue to command a higher price when compared to established stalwarts of the game. It is an opportunity for these youngsters to become millionaires overnight and reap the rewards of their few impressive performances.
The biggest talking point of the day was Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell fetching a million dollars. The Mumbai Indians pursued him to the hilt and were finally successful when the sum touched seven figures. His stocks have certainly risen when compared to last year and Mumbai wanted his hard-hitting batting and stable off-spinners. However, the bids that surprised the most were those of Sachithra Senanayake, Chris Morris, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson.
Senanayaka was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $625,000. Morris went to the Chennai Super Kings for the same price. Nathan Coulter-Nile was picked up by Mumbai Indians for $450,000. Richardson was perhaps the biggest surprise as he went for $700,000 to Pune Warriors India. A pertinent fact is that the 21-year old has only played a solitary One-Day International (ODI).
The most active bidders on the day were the Royal Challengers Bangalore. They bought seven players and were keen on increasing their fast-bowling stocks. In Jaidev Unadkat ($525,000), Rudra Pratap Singh ($400,000) and Pankaj Singh ($150,000) – they have got good Indian buys and that would help them play their foreign batsmen. With Moises Henriques ($300,000), Daniel Christian ($100,000) and Christopher Barnwell ($50,000) – they have fast-bowling all-rounders. Then they also purchased Ravi Rampaul ($290,000). It is obvious that all of them aren’t going to fit into Bangalore’s scheme of things.
The Sunrisers Hyderbabad needed to bolster their resources and they bought six players. Thisara Perera was their biggest catch at $675,000. The ever smiling West Indies captain Darren Sammy ($425,000) is also on their roster. Sudeep Tyagi ($100,000) and Clint McKay ($100,000) were two fast bowlers they picked up, while Nathan McCullum ($100,000) is the off-spinning all-rounder. The young and exciting Quinton de Kock ($20,000) from South Africa also finds a spot in their plans.
With some of the Indian players in the auction, it was obvious that they would get a lot of bids. Abhishek Nayar went to Pune Warriors India for $675,000. In fact, Pune spent large sums on their four buys. We discussed Richardson earlier, but Ajantha Mendis was bought for $725,000. Michael Clarke has returned to Pune Warriors and he went for $400,000.
With all the hype and interest surrounding Clarke and Ricky Ponting, they were sure to attract bids. Ponting went for his base price of $400,000 to the Mumbai Indians. It is interesting because we would now see the two greatest batsmen of this era playing in tandem – Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar. The plot thickens as Ponting would be on the same team as his nemesis Harbhajan Singh. There certainly is no love lost between them.
Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils bought three players each and they weren’t very big buys when compared to some of the other purchases made on the day. Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab were happy to buy only two each. Punjab bought Manpreet Gony ($500,000) and Like Pomersbach ($300,000). Kolkata paid a huge sum for Senanayake and were then happy to buy Ryan McLaren for $50,000.
All in all, the franchises were looking to plug a few weak areas and wanted to diversify their options. In two months from now, we would know who fits into the eleven and who doesn’t.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_