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Teams stick with homegrown talent

Teams stick with homegrown talent

Bangalore: What seemed like a yawn-inducing Day 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction got a shot of adrenaline towards the end. After the regular round of bidding got over, there was a special round of bidding held over unsold players that franchises seemed interested in.

Twenty-eight players, including the likes of Mohammad Kaif and Murali Kartik, were sold the second time their names came up for bidding. In all, 55 of the remaining 264 players got sold.

Also See IPL Auction (PDF)

The message from the first day of the auction at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore was repeated on Day 2: player reputations can go take a walk.

The pursuit of young local talent and the fading appeal of international star power formed another point hammered home on the second day. The fates of Brian Lara, Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle, who didn’t spark any interest from the 10 franchises on Saturday, came visiting the likes of Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya, New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram, English spinner Monty Panesar, South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, West Indian express bowler Fidel Edwards, England all-rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas, Australian pacer Peter Siddle, Sri Lankan bowler Chaminda Vaas, all-rounder Farveez Maharoof (who has had some good performances in previous IPL seasons) and some of England’s Ashes-winning team members such as batsman Ian Bell and fast bowler Chris Tremlett.

It appeared, over the course of two days, that English players didn’t cut any ice with the franchises.

Vijay Mallya, owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said: “The English players were a little overpriced… They should have been priced more aggressively."

Ness Wadia, team owner, Kings XI Punjab, agreed.

The vivacity of Day 1 of the auction—and its conductor Richard Madley—was hardly visible on Day 2, especially after lunch.

The session had just a handful of players who were bid for. The biggest sale of the day was Australian player Daniel Christian, for whom Deccan Chargers bid $900,000. But that was perhaps an aberrant note in proceedings marked by interest for Indian talent.

If international players got the cold shoulder, the Indians got a warm reception. Pacer R. Vinay Kumar was bought by the Kochi team for $475,000 after a lot of jostling with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Medium pace bowler Munaf Patel went for $700,000 to Mumbai Indians, after heavy bidding by Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors. Veteran medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $210,000. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $750,000.

Experts said the high price tags this year, especially those pinned on to young Indian players such as Gautam Gambhir, who was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for $2.4 million on Saturday, reflected the limited supply of Indian players. With each of the 10 IPL teams hoping to pick seven good Indian players, it is only natural to see teams competing against each other for these players, said Ram Tamara, director, Nathan Economic Consulting India Pvt. Ltd, an economic consulting firm with expertise in sports economics.

“For the first three seasons, the teams picked big international names because they needed to showcase it as a global franchise. But going forward, they are being more realistic about what is needed for a winning team, which is performance," Tamara said.

He added it was only logical that teams would bet on Indian players who were young, fit, and could go through the grind of the IPL. “Even in the case of Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 million) and Irfan Pathan ($1.9 million), they may not be consistently good performers, but they are potential game-changers."

Indranil Das Blah, chief operating officer, Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said the auctions will set the tone for team sponsorships and player endorsements in coming days.


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