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RCB, Kings XI battle it out for Tiwary at auction

Bangalore: The IPL players` auction for the fourth edition saw its first controversy on Saturday when Kings XI Punjab made a very last moment bidding for Saurabh Tiwary, who was by then almost snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping USD 1.4 million.

Although, ultimately Tiwary was bought by the Bangalore-outfit itself but it was not before they had to raise the bid to USD 1.6 million.

The whole drama started when the young left-handed batsman was already declared sold by the auctioneer Richard Madeley to Vijay Mallya-owned RCB for USD 1.4 million at the high-profile auction for the fourth edition of the Twenty20 league to be held from April 8 to May 20.

But, just as the hammer was coming down, Madeley saw from the corner of his eyes that Preity Zinta-led Kings X1 had raised their bid for the Jharkhand batsman dubbed as the junior Dhoni.

Madeley, admitting that the bid for the USD 1.5 million from Punjab had come very late, allowed it to stand and re-opened the bidding. Madeley said it was at the discretion of the auctioner to reconsider the bid or not.

The decision to reopen the bidding process made Mallyas extremely unhappy, who claimed the auctioneer had looked around comprehensively before hitting the hammer in their favour.

Even junior Mallya — Siddharth walked up to Kings XI co-owner Zinta to express his displeasure. Later, during a break, Zinta went to Vijay Mallya and had a word with him.

Eventually RCB purchased the 21-year-old Tiwary, who had played for Mumbai Indians in last year`s IPL, for USD 1.6 million after Punjab declined to push further.

When asked to comment on the episode, Zinta sought to downplay the issue by saying that there wasn`t actually any animated conversation between her and Siddharth.

"Kings let the bid go as it had already gone in the favour of RCB. When the auctioning is happening, you are not actually looking into it. There are lot of numbers that need to be looked into. You are always looking at numbers. So there was nothing and I just want to say that all is well that ends well," the Bollywood actress said.

Meanwhile, on being queried about Yuvraj Singh`s USD 1.8 million buy by Sahara Pune Warriors, Zinta said, "Kings also let go Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene and our very own Irfan Pathan"

"If somebody outbids you and your budget exceeds your limitation, tell me what would you do?" she asked.

"Let`s take Lara who went unsold. When coaches give you the list you have to follow it. If somebody is not in your game plan, it`s very difficult (to pick)," the 35-year-old actress said.

Indian opener Gautam Gambhir turned out to be the biggest draw in the auctions with the Shahrukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders buying him for a whopping USD 2.4 million.

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