The pilot episode of the reality TV show ‘Eye-Pee-El’ (S02E00) started with a bang as viewers were in for shocks and surprises in inequal measure.
There were no surprises in the prices Freddie and KP went for ($1.55m each). KP’s owner’s gonna be another ‘larger-than-life’ character (Vijay Mallya), so it’ll be interesting to see how they ‘behave’ with each other, more so because Mallya is rumoured to be considering making KP the captain.
Chennai has got a real boost to their line-up with Freddie, so they’ll surely be a very formidable outfit for this season. The availability of Matty Hayden for the whole season will, no doubt, help them a lot.
Rajasthan roped in Tyron Henderson for $650000. Henderson, in case you’ve never heard of him, is a Kolpak player plying his trade for Middlesex and is the highest ever wicket-taker in T20s. A very handy hitter, by all means, he fits the profile of Rajasthan perfectly: big performer, but isn’t very popular outside England and South Africa.
Another one was Shaun Tait (one of 2 Aussies), who was picked up for $375000.
Delhi made 2 very good signings in Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah for $275000 each. Very handy players, both of them. Shah can whack the ball a distance, while Collingwood is the type of all-round player you’d die to have (though not many franchises showed the urge to do so!)
Deccan Chargers snapped up the fiery slinger Fidel Edwards for $150,000, which isn’t such a bad deal considering the fact that, on particular days, he can be absolutely red hot!
Rav Bopara got snapped up by his ‘ancestral’ team, Punjab, for $450000, which is a great price for a utility player like him (though I’m still under the impression that Colly deserved more than 275)
Jesse Ryder, a player known for his regular alcohol abuse, was taken by the alcohol-baron Vijay Mallya for $160000. Someone’ll have to watch Ryder to make sure that he doesn’t sneak a beer! 😛
Kyle Mills @ $150000 to Mumbai is a bargain. Accurate bowlers deserve to be paid much more than that!
Chennai also got Thilina Thushara for $140,000, which is a decent deal. Never seen him in T20s, so I’m not forming an opinion now.
The auction for Bengali paceman Mashrafe Mortaza was the most gripping one, spiralling from $50k to $600k before Punjab gave up. Kolkata won him. This could be like a home team for him as Bangladesh is just a bus-ride from Kolkata. The fans might give him a good reception!
The last minute saw Dwayne Smith, who played for Mumbai in the first season, go to Deccan for $100k, Ash to Mumbai for $100k and George Bailey, the Tasmanian batsman, for $50k to Chennai.
The auction revealed a couple of facts.
Firstly, Australians weren’t as high in demand as they were last year, with only 2 out of 16 Aussies being snapped up. Looks like the national team success (or failure, in this case) can affect all the Aussies’ chances. Notable players not bought include Brad Haddin and Stuart Clark (though I wasn’t surprised by the latter). I suppose it was the possible shame that could come by not being picked that made Pup Clarke opt out.
The same could be said of Ian Bell and Matt Prior. However, it must have been really embarassing for Samit Patel to not have been selected as he had gotten permission from his county Nottinghamshire to play for the whole season!
The biggest shock, AFAIAC, was that no franchise bothered bidding for Shakib! I though that there would be a mad rush for him, especially from CSK who wanted a spinner who could bat (a description Shakib fitted perfectly). What a pity!