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Yuvraj fetches record price at IPL auction

Yuvraj fetches record price at IPL auction
In a relatively low key auction, Yuvraj triggered an unexpected bidding war with four teams vying for the 33-year-old cricketer’s services before Delhi clinched the deal for a record price.

The Yuvraj, who had been bought for Rs 14 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, went for such a big price came as a huge surprise given the fact that he is no longer in the Indian team. His current form, however, has been good which could have led to the franchises showing interest in him.

“I think we learnt from last year, and that if we want a player we need to push hard for him. Hence we were prepared to go all the way with Yuvraj and it’s great for the player as well,” Delhi coach Gary Kirsten said justifying the record bid for Yuvraj.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was another player, who commanded a massive price, going to RCB for Rs 10.50 crore at a glitzy auction attended by business bigwigs, Bollywood stars like Preity Zinta and former cricketers such as Anil Kumble, Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming and VVS Laxman — part of various teams’ support staff.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathew (Rs 7.5 crore to DD), New Zealand pacer Trent Boult (Rs 3.80 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra (Rs 3.50 crore to DD) and Australian opener Aaron Finch (Rs 3.20 crore to Mumbai Indians) were among those who fetched a good price at the auction.

Sri Lankan stalwarts Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Indian pacers Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan, South African batsman Hashim Amla and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor went unsold in the initial rounds of the auction. They might still find a buyer in the final round of bidding.

Yuvraj, who carried a base price of Rs 2 crore, was sold after a fierce tug of war for his services between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore, who bought him last year for Rs 14 crore, at a city hotel here.

Initially, there was four-way bidding among Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils to buy India’s 2011 World Cup hero in the auction conducted by Richard Madley. But once the bidding reached Rs 7 crore, RR and KXIP quit, leaving DD and RCB in the fray.

Delhi Daredevils, who have the largest purse of Rs 39.75 crore among all the eight franchises taking part in the auction, also bought Mathews for Rs 7.5 crore, the third highest price in the first two rounds of auction.

RCB, who lost to DD in their bid to get Yuvraj and Mathews, bought Karthik for the second highest price, even though it was Rs 1.5 crore lower than the amount he was bought for by DD last year.

Surprisingly, former England captain Kevin Pietersen, who was bought for Rs 9 crore last year by DD, could get just Rs 2 crore as he was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the base price.

Other players sold in the auction were India Test opener Murali Vijay for Rs 3 crore (to KXIP), England’s Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.5 crore by SRH) and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (Rs 60 lakh by SRH).

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult also fetched an impressive sum of Rs 3.8 crore from his base price of Rs 50 lakh as he was bought by SRH who joined in after initial bidding between RCB and MI.

There was also intense bidding for Indian pacer Praveen Kumar, who was bought by SRH for Rs 2.20 crore. SRH also strengthened their squad by buying England all-rounder Ravi Bopara for Rs one crore.

Two other all-rounders in West Indian Darren Sammy and South African David Wiese went to RCB for an identical Rs 2.80 crore. RCB also bought young Australian pacer Sean Abbott for Rs 1 crore.
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