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Glenn Maxwell is IPL’s lone million-dollar baby

Unheralded cricketers outmatched established stars with rookie Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell becoming the lone million-dollar buy in the IPL VI players’ auction held in Chennai on Sunday.  Mumbai Indians bought the 24-year-old Victorian for a whopping $1 million (Rs 5.3 crore) while Indians Abhishek Nayar, RP Singh and Jaydev Unadkat sprang surprises with unexpectedly high bids. The auction turned out to be a low-key affair with only 37 of the 108 cricketers in the fray managing to find buyers.

Maxwell made heads turn in 2010-11 with a blazing 19-ball half-century against Tasmania which remains the fastest one-day fifty in Australia’s domestic history. A hard-hitting batsman, Maxwell is a more than handy off-spinner and athletic fielder which made him a sure pick in the shortest format. Maxwell’s illustrious compatriots Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, however, were sold on their base price of $400,000 to Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors, respectively.

With the franchises going for untested players, little-known cricketers like Aussie seamer Kane Richardson, South African all-rounder Christopher Morris and Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake struck gold by attracting big purses.

The big names who failed to invite a single bid include South Africans Vernan Philander and Herschelle Gibbs, West Indies’ Darren Bravo, England’s Ravi Bopara and Australians James Hopes and Matthew Wade.
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