Pietersen, Flintoff hit jackpot at IPL auction

February 7, 2009

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff became the costliest players in IPL history as the two were each sold for $1.55 million (Rs 7.35 crore) at the IPL auction on Friday.

The beleaguered Bangalore Royal Challengers successfully bid for Pietersen, while last year’s runners-up Chennai Super Kings bid the highest for the England all-rounder which set the new record, overtaking the $1.5 million bid last year for Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Only 50 players, for 17 slots, were on sale at the IPL auction here on Friday, and fewer were bid for. But the presence of England stars made for frantic bidding.

With the teams’s spending limit set at $2 million each, teams were cautious in their bidding. Pietersen’s appreciation was only a fraction of his base price of $1.35 million, as was Flintoff’s $900,000.

Jean-Paul Duminy thus became one of the prized catches of the auction, as Mumbai Indians’ $950,000-bid for the South African batting sensation raised his value over three times.

Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza’s bid at the closing round of the auction made for an intriguing duel between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab with the Knight Riders finally securing him for $600,000, an astonishing 1100 per cent appreciation on his base price of $50,000.

Mortaza’s captain Mohammad Ashraful, though, remained unsold during the auction, only to be bought by Mumbai Indians to fill their last slot for $75,000. Bangladesh’s player of the season, Shakib-Al-Hasan, however, wasn’t bid for.

The first round of auctions saw Shaun Tait, the Australian speedster, being sold to defending champions Rajasthan Royals for $375,000, before Duminy, Pietersen and Flintoff went under the hammer.
The second round of the IPL auction had another England duo up for sale, and Delhi Daredevils bought both Owais Shah and former ODI skipper Paul Collingwood, each for $275,000. The previous year’s semi-finalists didn’t go for any other player, after having already bought Australian opener David Warner a few months ago and had retained pacer Ashish Nehra from Mumbai Indians.

The Deccan Chargers, who had a miserable outing in the first season despite having a star-studded line-up, purchased the West Indies duo of pacer Fidel Edwards ($150,000) and all-rounder Dwayne Smith ($100,000).

Defending champions Rajasthan Royals, whose representatives also included new co-owners Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, added South African all-rounder Tyron Henderson to their squad for $650,000.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians, after securing JP Duminy, added New Zealand bowler Kyle Mills, while Bangalore, who had already spent a fortune on Pietersen, snapped up another Kiwi Jesse Ryder for $160,000. Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, bought Sri Lankan paceman Thilan Thushara ($140,000) and Australian George Bailey ($50,000).

Kings XI Punjab bid successfully for England all-rounder Ravi Bopara for $450,000. But after the end of all six rounds of bidding at the auction, Kings XI and Mumbai Indians had a slot each left for an overseas player. The Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia-owned franchise pocketed West Indies pacer Jerome Taylor at his base price of $150,000 to wrap up the player auction.

Auction results
$1.55 million (A$2.37 million):

Andrew Flintoff (ENG) – Chennai Super Kings
Kevin Pietersen (ENG) – Bangalore Royal Challengers

$950,000 ($A1.43 million):

Jean-Paul Duminy (RSA) – Mumbai Indians

$650,000 ($A987,000):

Tyron Henderson (RSA) – Rajasthan Royals

$600,000 ($A910,000):

Mashrafe Mortaza (BAN) – Kolkata Knight Riders

$450,000 (A$682,000):

Ravi Bopara (ENG) – Kings XI Punjab

$375,000 (A$575,000) :

Shaun Tait (AUS) – Rajasthan Royals

$275,000 ($A417,000):

Owais Shah (ENG) – Delhi Daredevils
Paul Collingwood (ENG) – Delhi Daredevils

$160,000 ($243,000):

Jesse Ryder (NZL) – Bangalore Royal Challengers

$150,000 ($A227,000):

Fidel Edwards (WIS) – Deccan Chargers

Kyle Mills (NZL) – Mumbai Indians

Jerome Taylor (WIS) – Kings XI Punjab

$140,000 ($A212,000):

Thilan Thushara (SRI) – Chennai Super Kings

$100,000 ($A152,000):

Dwayne Smith (WIS) – Deccan Chargers

$75,000 ($A114,000):

Mohammad Ashraful (BAN) – Mumbai Indians

$50,000 ($A76,000):

George Bailey (AUS) – Chennai Super Kings


Kirsten tells cricketers not to get distracted by controversy

October 4, 2008

Coach Gary Kirsten told India’s squad to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding five senior players ahead of the start of the test series against Australia next week.


The countdown for the four-test series starting in Bangalore on Thursday has been overshadowed by news the Indian board has drawn up retirement plans for five veterans including captain Anil Kumble and record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

A board official said on Wednesday that Kumble, Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Vangipurappu Laxman, all well into their 30s, had been told to plan their retirements by December.

“I think we should move on from that,” South African Kirsten told a news conference on Friday. “We need to focus on the team and get on with the test series.

“India have got the best record against Australia and we have got a good idea of what we need to do, game-wise as well as mentally.”

World number ones Australia won a four-test series 2-1 four years ago to record their first series victory on Indian soil in 35 years but are rebuilding after several high-profile retirements.

SPIN THREAT

Kirsten expects spin to pose a serious threat to the visitors but said the hosts were capable of winning in all conditions.

“It feels good to have two spinners who have got so many wickets in our team and that is certainly something that works in our favour,” he said.

India named leg-break bowler Amit Mishra as a third specialist spinner in the squad for the first two tests as back up for Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

Leg-spinner Kumble is the world’s third highest wicket taker and architect of several victories.

Off-spinner Harbhajan, who took 32 wickets in the 2-1 victory over Australia in 2001, needs nine more scalps to reach 300 in tests.