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Gautam Gambhir grabs eyeballs with 11.04 cr deal

Bangalore: Indian opener Gautam Gambhir turned out to be the biggest draw in the auctions with the Shah Rukha Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders buying him for a whopping USD 2.4 million (approx Rs 11.04 crore) for the fourth edition of IPL to be held from April 8 to May 20.

Gambhir turned out to be the most expensive player during the first session as his price skyrocketed 12 times from his base price of USD 200,000 (Rs 92 lakh) while three other Indian players — Yusuf Pathan (USD 2.1 million), Rohit Sharma (USD 2 million) and Robin Uthappa (2.1 million) crossed the two million mark in the high-profile auctions.

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and West Indies batting star Chris Gayle surprisingly went unsold in the first round.

The KKR, which dominated the first round of auction of nine marquee players, also bought T20 specialist Yusuf Pathan for a staggering USD 2.1 million (approx Rs 9.66 crore) and legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis for USD 1.1 million.

Robin Uthappa who has been out of national reckoning for quite some time was bought for an astounding USD 2.1 million (Rs 9.66 crore) by Sahara Pune Warriors who opened their account with Yuvraj Singh buying him for USD 1.8 million (Rs 8.28 crore apprx) after beating Team Kochi and Kings XI Punjab in the bid.

Even Rohit Sharma`s price of USD 2 million (Rs 9.2 crore) which Mumbai Indians paid raised many eyeballs.

Yusuf Pathan`s younger brother Irfan who has not played any cricket this season was taken by Delhi Dardevils for USD 1.9 million.

There was bad news for Sourav Ganguly fans as he went unsold during the first round of the auctions with none of the franchises bidding for him. Equally surprising was West Indies opener Chris Gayle not being bought by any franchise.

It was intense bidding for Gambhir who was the first player under the hammer as Saha Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians were involved in a bidding war before KKR joined the fray after it crossed the million dollar barrier.

Kings XI Punjab also lost the bid of Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene who was bought by Kochi for USD 1.5 million.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore bought Zaheer Khan for USD 900,000 and dashing Lankan opener TM Dilshan for USD 650,000.

However, the Vijay Mallya owned franchise had a prize catch in talented South African AB de Villiers buying him for a big amount of USD 1.1 million (Rs 5.06 crore). They also got New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori for only USD 550,000.

The Rajasthan Royals bought New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor for USD 1 million (Rs 4.6 crore). But what turned out to be a surprise was South African off-spinner Johan Botha being bought after a lot of bidding for USD 950,000.

However, for Kevin Pietersen who was one of the most sought after players in the second and third edition was bought by Deccan Chargers for USD 650,000 much less than his million dollar price in the earlier years. Petersen, alongwith Andrew Flintoff, was the most expensive player in the last edition with USD 1.5 million.

Andrew Symonds, who was one of the costliest players during season-I was bought for USD 850,000 by Mumbai Indians.

After the first two rounds, Team Kochi had bought the maximum five players (Mahela Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum, VVS Laxman, S Sreesanth and Rudra Pratap Singh).

Kochi were quite lucky to buy McCullum for as low a price as USD 475,000 considering his reputation as a T20 dasher.

Sahara Pune Warriors were also a gainer as they got South African captain Graeme Smith for USD 500,000 only.

KIngs XI Punjab who lost all their key players including Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakkara (bought by Deccan Chargers for USD 650,000) and Jayawardene (USD 1.5 million for Kochi) and Yuvraj to Pune finally had something to cheer when they successfully bid for former Aussie wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist for USD 900,000.

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