25 Jan 2010 by Mahendra Prasad in IPL

The IPL auction was perhaps the most awaited event of 2010 in the world of cricket. This is due to the fact that 66 players from around the world confirmed their availability for playing in the lucrative competition to be held in March and once again in India.

The excitement was growing within the owners of the 8 franchises of the IPL as they checked in the Trident Hotel on a sunny, sultry day in Mumbai. The auction began in unceremonious fashion when Shahid Afridi, arguably Pakistan’s star player in the T-20 format, had no takers even at a base price of $250,000.

What a shock that must have been for Pakistan’s cricket lovers! Next up was Kieron Pollard, West Indian all-rounder who impressed the cricketing world with his all-round antics in the 2009 T-20 Champions League, while playing for Trinidad and Tobago as well as recently in the Big Bash tournament representing the South Australian Red Backs.

He was a hot, hot buy with his bid going easily to $750,000 due to demands of the Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore franchises respectively.

In an edge-of-a-seat silent tiebreaker, Mumbai Indians captured Pollard and their chances of going a step further are said to have increased significantly ever since then. After the Pollard mania, it was the turn of the Brad Haddin, the Australian wicket-keeper and he too like Afridi was rejected perhaps due to availability issues.

Graeme Swann, England’s recent spin sensation surprisingly suffered the same fate. As the first pool of players were dealt with, the atmosphere in the auction room could have been cut with a knife.

Uncertainty prevailed as it was the turn of the young South African bowling all-rounder Wayne Parnell. Fascinating for many, Parnell was also sought after by the defending champions Deccan Chargers as well as Delhi Daredevils. Delhi, eventually got Parnell for a massive $610,000.

Shane Bond was in contention for a place in the IPL after his remarkable comeback in international cricket a year back. For Bond too, there was heavy bidding with Chennai and Deccan interested in buying him initially but it was down to Deccan and Kolkata in the end when his bid reached up to $750,000.

Astonishing, because his base price was just a mere $100000! He was in the end sold to the Kolkata Knight Riders at an undisclosed amount, showing that experience is required in the shorter version of the game. Mohd Kaif, the Uttar Pradesh captain went unsold in the first round but was wanted a little later by the Bangalore and Punjab franchises respectively.

He turned out to be the highest paid Indian player in the auction when Punjab bagged him for $250000. The young and pacey Kemar Roach had made a name for himself in Australia when he injured Ricky Ponting and got him to retire hurt for the first time in his career.

So, Roach too was an attractive investment for several franchises, especially those who desperately needed a fast bowler and who had missed out on Bond. However, Roach was grabbed by the Deccan Chargers for an astronomical price of $720000.

Eoin Morgan is undoubtedly, England’s new find along with Graeme Swann. The young 23 year old impressed in the NatWest series against Australia and at the Champions trophy. However, he beat Swann when it comes to playing in the IPL as Bangalore made their first inroad in the auction by pouching him for $220000.

As the first half of the auction ended, it was expected that the future of many young players from around the world was to be decided as the star players were already auctioned. It was a further shock to many when Darren Ganga, the Trinidad and Tobago captain as well as leading Bangladesh all-rounder, Shakib al Hasan went unsold, perhaps due to the $750000 cap being completed by most of the franchises.

Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger too wasn’t considered as an attractive option despite his recent exploits in international cricket. However, controversy was further created when Pakistani players Sohail Tanvir, Umar and Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved-al-Hasan and Imran Nazir were overlooked.

A significant bid was that of Damien Martyn, the Australian ICL returnee, who was bought by the Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals at the base price of $100000. After another long wait, it was the turn of Chennai Super Kings to enter in the action when they managed to purchase Sri Lankan allrounder Thisra Perera for just $50000 as well as Justin Kemp, the South African batsman for $100000 in a span of a few minutes.

The Royals once again showed their loyalty to Shane Warne when they bought Adam Voges, Australian batsman for $50000. The auction ended in style when 3 Indian U-19 players were sold to Mumbai, Bangalore and Deccan franchises, showing that the teams respected talent despite many players remaining unsold after the two rounds of the auction.


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