Laxman goes unsold at 5th IPL auction

Bangalore: All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the biggest draw for the franchises with Chennai Super Kings buying him for a whopping Rs 9.72 crore but struggling veteran VVS Laxman found no takers in the players` auction for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League here.

The 23-year-old, whose base price was USD 100,000, went to Chennai after the tie-breaker clause was invoked when two teams – CSK and Deccan Chargers – bid the maximum (USD two million) for the Saurashtra player.

Both the franchises were asked to bid a secret amount in the tie-breaker and it was Chennai which managed to outbid Deccan in the final round. But the cricketer himself will be paid USD 950,000 as per the contract he had signed with the now-disbanded Kochi Tuskers Kerala last year and even the secret amount that was bid on him by Chennai would go into the BCCI coffers.

Laxman, in contrast, expectedly remained unsold after a string of poor performances on the tours of England and Australia. Laxman started his IPL stint as Deccan Chargers captain in 2008 but at 37 right now, age and reputation of being a Test specialist could also have been factors for the franchises` snub.

Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, incidentally the KTK captain last season, was also a big draw going to Delhi Daredevils for USD 1.4 million (approx Rs 6.8 crore). Jayawardene will, however, get USD 1.5 million as per his contract last year.

Some surprise beneficiaries at the auction were West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for USD 700,000 (Rs 3.40 crore) and Indian paceman Vinay Kumar, taken by Royal Challengers Bangalore for USD one million (Rs 4.86 crore). Narine had a modest base price of USD 50,000.

A total of 146 players went under the hammer with a purse of USD16.94 million between the eight teams after Pune Warriors did not turn up following Sahara`s decision to give up on the franchise`s ownership.

Each team had a maximum cap of USD two million, which Chennai exhausted by spending on Jadeja. Other big gainers at the auction were New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum was bought for USD 900,000 by Kolkata Knight Riders. McCullum`s base price was USD 400,000.

Indian stumper Parthiv Patel went for USD 650,000 to Deccan Chargers, which was quite high from his base price of USD 200,000. Among others who went unsold in the auction were England`s James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior, West Indies` Ramnaresh Sarwan, Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo and South Africa`s Mark Boucher.

Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who was with Chennai Super Kings and Kochi in the previous editions, was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for USD 220,000 (approx. Rs 1.06 crore).

South Africa`s veteran opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs, who was released by Deccan Chargers, fetched USD 50,000 (approx. Rs 24 lakh) from Mumbai Indians, while Australian batsman Brad Hodge was taken by Rajasthan Royals for USD 475,000 (approx Rs 2.3 crore).

Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson went to Mumbai Indians at his base price of USD 300,000 (approx Rs 1.4 crore). West Indies Andre Russell fetched USD 450,000 from the Delhi Daredevils, a substantial hike from his base price of USD 50,000.

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal was turned out to be a bargain buy for Rajasthan Royals, who bought him at his base price of USD 50,000.