Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dhoni Tops tha Auction List with $1.74 million

India's rich and powerful dug deep into their pockets on Wednesday to stock up on talent for their teams in India's new money-spinning cricket tournament.

Chennai splashed out $A1.74 million for Indian one-day captain MS Dhoni while Hyderabad paid $A1.47 million for Australia's Andrew Symonds at a glitzy auction to determine who plays where in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) starting in April.

Dhoni was snapped up by the southern metropolis side in the first round of the sale.

Retired Australian spin-bowler Shane Warne was the first player to go under the hammer fetching $491,000 from Jaipur.

Warne's compatriot fast bowler Brett Lee was later snapped up by Mohali for $982,000 while Australia captain Ricky Ponting was bought by Kolkata for $436,000.

Australian keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who last month retired from Test cricket, went to Hyderabad for $764,000.

Retired Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath and batsman Michael Hussey failed to attract a bid in the first round and will join Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf in the reserve pool.

The Mumbai franchise, which has Sachin Tendulkar as the designated city player and is owned by India's most valuable company Reliance Industries, paid $1.06 million for Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya and $927,000 for India spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan went to Chennai for $655,000.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was bought up by the Mohali franchise for $518,000 while temperamental Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar went to Kolkata for $464,000.

The eight franchise teams of the IPL - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali and Mumbai - have a budget of up to $5.45 million each for a maximum of eight contracted players. They are bidding for 78 players and the closed-door auction could last up to 12 hours.

The 44-day IPL starts on April 18 and will feature 59 matches.

The players are being put up for bidding in sets of 12 according to their annual base price, multiple-skills and expected availability for the inaugural year.

The player contracts are for a period of three years.

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