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Old 01-06-2011, 04:28 PM
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:29 PM
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:18 AM
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New Delhi: Cricket's biggest carnival - the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction - got underway at Bangalore on Saturday, with 353 players going under the hammer and a total of $ 90 million to be spent.
The number of bidders went from eight to ten as the Pune and Kochi franchise, too, took their seats in the auction room at the ITC Royal Gardenia in the Garden City. That undoubtedly added to the battle royal, chiefly fought between Nita Ambani (Mumbai Indians), Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Subrata Roy (Pune Warriors) and the GMR (Delhi Daredevils).

The first round began with nine players, starting with the prolific Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who wasn't retained by his former employer Delhi Daredevils. And the first bang of the hammer was heard when Gambhir was bought for a whopping USD 2.4 million by Shah Rukh's Kolkata Knight Riders, tagging him as sold.
Next up was Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan with a reserve price of 400,000 and the Royal Challengers Bangalore bagged him for USD 650,000.
Indian speedster Zaheer Khan, who played for Mumbai Indians in the last edition, was bid successfully for USD 900,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The big-hitting Yusuf Pathan was expectedly sold for a big amount to Kolkata Knight Riders who ended up as the highest bidders for the Baroda player with USD 2.1 million.
The other players to go under the hammer in round one were New Zealand's Ross Taylor, bagged by Rajasthan Royals for USD 1 million; England's Kevin Pietersen, bought by Deccan Chargers for 650,000; Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene, who went for USD 1.5 million to Kochi; Yuvraj Singh, bought by Pune Warriors for USD 1.8 million; and finally South African AB de Villiers who went for USD 1.1 million to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Round two began with what could remain the biggest surprise, if we may call it that, of the auction. Sourav Ganguly, India's most successful opening batsman and skipper, was brought onto the auction table for a reserve price of USD 400,000. But jaws dropped when not even a single bidder came forward to open his bid. The icon remained unsold!
The Australian representation in the auction began with limited-over specialist and their new T20 skipper, Cameron White. The Deccan Chargers ended up with White in their team for a price of USD 1.1 million.
Jacques Kallis, arguably world's best all-rounder, was the third one to go under the hammer in round two. Kolkata Knight Riders, who seemed to be on a spending spree, once again went berserk
Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma, once tipped as the heir-apparent to Sachin Tendulkar, surprised with a final bidding price of USD 2 million spent by Mumbai Indian's Nita Ambani.
The next buy of the auction was Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh would have had a wry smile on his face when Nita Ambani bagged him for a not-so-bad USD 850,000. It remains to be be seen if the old-time foes Harbhajan and Symonds will become pals under the Mumbai umbrella.
Deccan Chargers couldn't have had a better replacement for Adam Gilchrist when they took home Kumar Sangakkara who can perform the all three roles of batting, leading and wicketkeeping as well as the Australian. The Hyderabad team had to shell out USD 700,000 for the Sri Lankan skipper.
The outgoing Deccan skipper, Adam Gilchrist, was the next name announced by the veteran English auctioneer Richard Madley. Deccan's loss became Kings XI Punjab's gain who bought Gilchrist for USD 900,000. That brought out an interesting fact related to Sangakkara and Gilchrist. Both wicketkeeper batsman, both skipper of their ex-teams and both went to each other's ex-employer.
Two other members of India's 'Fab Four' - Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman - were given better treatment by the bidders as opposed to Ganguly. Though they didn't bag a huge amount, Dravid was sold to Rajasthan Royals for USD 500,000 while Laxman went for his reserve price of 400,000 to Kochi.
Robin Uthappa, the star of IPL-3, caused a major tug-of-war between Pune Warriors and a couple of other bidders and was finally snapped up for a staggering USD 2.1 million by the Pune team.
There were five other bids before the lunch interval: South Africa's Johan Botha, bought by Rajasthan Royals for USD 950,000; New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori, sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for USD 550,000; Kiwi stumper Brendon McCullum, who went to Kochi for USD 475,000; Indian speedster S Sreesanth, who was bagged by his home team Kochi for USD 900,000; and India's out-of-favour but talented all-rounder Irfan Pathan who took home a handsome USD 1.9 million, paid by Delhi Daredevils.
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