M A I N   N E W S

Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan breach Rs 9-crore barrier in IPL 4
Pune grabs Yuvraj; no bids for Lara, Ganguly and Gayle
Jaideep Ghosh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 8
The week-end auction of cricketers for the Indian Premeir League, which will continue on Sunday, got off to a blazing start with Kolkata Knight Riders grabbing Gautam Gambhir for a whopping Rs 11.8 crore for the next two years. While Gambhir was the first cricketer to breach the $2million barrier, by the end of the day, three more players joined him in the elite league. They were Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa.

Till today, MS Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings was the highest-paid cricketer in IPL at Rs 8.7 crore. Today’s auction saw four players breach the Rs 9 crore barrier. Gambhir, who was the captain of Delhi Daredevils last season, saw his price skyrocket 12 times from his reserve or base price of Rs 92 lakh. The most expensive foreign player auctioned on Saturday was Mahela Jayawardane, who was picked up by Kochi for Rs 6.9 crore.

There were no takers, however, for the golden oldies like Sourav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle.

Punjab Kings XI lost out on most of their key players with others snapping up Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardane and Sangakkara. But the team managed to pick up Adam Gilchrist and David Hussey as some consolation.

The first day of the two-day auction in Bangalore saw 10 bidders in action. By the end of Sunday, they are likely to spend more than Rs 300 crore to get players of their choice to play for their teams. Contrary to popular belief, this money is retained by the players, after taxes are deducted, and no part of it goes to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). In return, the players are obliged to play for the team for two seasons, which can be extended by one more year.

The fourth edition of the IPL, beginning February 19, will see 74 matches being played. The team owners will make money from gate collection at the stadium, from advertisements, from selling souvenirs and merchandise ranging from shirts to cricket gear with the team logo embossed on them.

The process of bidding for the players, has been confusing to most people, since not many can grasp the magnitude of the exercise, or count till the figure quoted. But it does follow a certain plan, even if not a perfect one.

Here is how it goes. The 10 franchisees (including Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals getting juidicial clearance) would bid to buy the best in the business from their kitties, which are controlled by some factors. Each team can use up to $9 million to buy a maximum of 30 players, including 10 foreigners. However, their buying power would be depend on how many players they retain from their original list. Each franchisee is allowed to retain a maximum of four players from their original list.

For each player they retain, there is a price. If the franchisee holds on to one player, like Delhi Daredevils did with Virender Sehwag, their money will be reduced by $1.8 million. If the team keeps two players, this figure goes up to $3.1 million. For three players, it is $4 million and for four, it is $4.5 million.

Consequently Mumbai Indians, who held on to Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga, had their bidding reserves reduced to half.





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