Chennai: Mumbai Indians agreed to pay $1 million (Rs.5.3 crore) for little-known Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction, even as cricketing stars, including Australian captain Michael Clarke and his predecessor Ricky Ponting, failed to generate much interest among team owners.
Clarke was selected by Pune Warriors and Ponting was bought by Mumbai Indians at their base price of $400,000. In contrast, Mumbai Indians outbid Hyderabad Sunrisers to hire Maxwell.
“We wanted a young all-rounder. He is a great fielder. It will be Sachin Tendulkar’s and the team’s decision on who will be captain,” said Nita Ambani, the owner of Mumbai Indians and wife of Reliance Industries Ltd’s chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Of the 108 players up for auction to the nine IPL teams, only 37 managed to find buyers.
South African all-rounder Christopher Morris, who has played just one Twenty20 international, fetched $625,000 after starting at a base price of $20,000. The 25-year-old Morris was bought by Chennai Super Kings after a three-way bidding war with Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The unusual pattern continued with little-known Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake fetching much beyond his base price of $50,000. Kolkata Knight Riders agreed to pay $625,000 to Senanayake, outbidding Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile was sold for $450,000 to Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who performed consistently in the domestic arena, went to Pune Warriors for $675,000. Another Indian pacer who managed to get a good deal was Manpreet Gony—sold to Kings XI Punjab for $500,000.
“Price is not important, filling the particular slot is,” said Krishnamachari Srikkanth, mentor of Hyderabad Sunrisers that bought six players. The new team was bought by Kalanithi Maran, founder of Sun TV Network, for $80 million for a five-year period.
The Sunrisers management has retained nine players of the erstwhile Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad-based franchisee that was terminated after Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd failed to provide a Rs.100-crore guarantee to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
South African all-rounder Johan Botha, chosen by Rajasthan Royals last year for $950,000, was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $450,000, beating Pune Warriors.
Another uncapped player who triggered a bidding war was promising Australian pacer Kane Richardson.
The 21-year-old, whose base price was $100,00, was ultimately bought by Pune Warriors for $700,000.