DAY ONE: Yuvraj Singh is IPL king, pockets Rs 14 crore

BANGALORE: Flamboyant all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was the surprise recipient of a windfall at the IPL players’ auction, fetching a record bid of Rs 14 crore from the Royal Challengers Bangalore while Dinesh Karthik also clinched a mind-boggling Rs 12.5 crore purse from Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday.
Both Yuvraj and Karthik, who are not even regular members of the Indian team, triggered stunning bidding wars among the franchises to set a new record in earnings in the cash-rich league. They surpassed the Rs 11.04 crore that was bid on Gautam Gambhir in 2011, the highest till now.
Controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose England career came to an abrupt end after a disastrous Ashes campaign earlier this month, fetched a huge Rs 9 crore purse, bought by Delhi Daredevils, the franchise he played for last season.
Upcoming New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who scored the fastest ODI century smashing a 36-ball ton to breach the record set by Shahid Afridi in 1996, expectedly got a decent package of Rs 4.5 crore with the Mumbai Indians though there was strong buzz of him emerging as the highest paid from this auction.
Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson (Rs 6.5 crore, Kings XI Punjab), all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (Rs 6 crore, Kings XI Punjab), Indian opener Murali Vijay (Rs 5 crore, Delhi Daredevils), South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (Rs 5.5 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders), Robin Uthappa (Rs 5 crore, KKR), West Indian batsman Dwayne Smith (Rs 4.5 crore, Chennai Super Kings), Amit Mishra (Rs 4.25 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Aaron Finch (Rs 4 crore, SRH) were some of the players who triggered intense bidding in the auction.
Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, Australian T20 specialist Cameron White, who captained SRH for a while last season, West Indian Marlon Samuels, pacer Daniel Christian and England batsman Ian Bell surprisingly found no buyers.
“The team is looking stronger with him,” said RCB co-owner Vijay Mallya even though he admitted that he ended up paying Rs 4 crore more than what he had planned.
Similar was the case of Karthik, who does not figure in the Indian team, but generated immense interest among the franchises.
At a base price of Rs 2 crore, there was a bidding war between Delhi and Hyderabad for him before KKR also jumped into the fray. But Delhi seemed persistent and in the end, outbid the other two contenders.
The 33-year-old Pietersen was always expected to be a hot pick given that he would be available all through the season post his forced retirement from international cricket.
So it came as no surprise that his name triggered three-way bidding between CSK, KXIP and Delhi. The player eventually went to Delhi, who exercised the ‘Right to Match’ provision to grab him being his former employers.
Veteran Indian opener Virender Sehwag (base price Rs 2 crore), who had been released by Delhi, went to Kings XI Punjab for Rs 3.2 crore. The India discard’s name was all set to be hammered in as unsold before Punjab bought his services fending off bids from Mumbai Indians.
The Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan, had to be content with a much lower package this time around after a combined collection of approximately Rs 18 crore in the 2011 auction.
While Yusuf got Rs 3.25 crore (KKR), Irfan fetched a deal of Rs 2.4 crore (Sunrisers Hyderabad) this year.
The out of form Ishant Sharma, who was yesterday axed from the Asia Cup and the World T20 squad, managed to get a decent package of Rs 2.60 crore from his previous team Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Manoj Tiwary, who has now recovered from a knee surgery, was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.80 crore, along with his state skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who fetched a contract of Rs 1.5 crore.
The players will sign a one-year contract with their respective franchises, who have the discretion to extend them by two more years.
The salary cap for the IPL fees of the entire squad has been fixed for Rs 60 crore this year which will be increased by five per cent in 2015 and 2016.

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