Little-known Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the only million-dollar
buy in a low-key IPL players' auction where franchises opted to put their money
on unheralded names instead of established stars, most of whom went unsold here
The 24-year-old Maxwell stole the thunder grabbing a whopping USD one million (Rs 5.3 crore) deal with Mumbai Indians, while among the Indians, all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, and pacers R P Singh and Jaydev Unadkat invited unexpectedly high bids in the auction where only 37 of the 108 players in the fray managed to find buyers.
The giants of the game who failed evoke much interest from the franchises included Australian captain Michael Clarke and his predecessor Ricky Ponting. Both of them were marquee players but were sold on their base price of USD 400,000 (Rs 2.1 crore) to Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians respectively.
In contrast, there was a fierce bidding war for Maxwell in which Mumbai pipped Hyderabad Sunrisers to clinch the player.
"He is an upcoming youngster. He can bat, bowl and I think he is a great fielder. We had thought of some names before we came here and he was one of them," said Mumbai owner Nita Ambani on the logic behind making such a high bid for the youngster, who is just eight ODIs and nine T20s old in the international arena.
Currently playing against the West Indies in an ODI series, Maxwell was ironically out for a first-ball duck in Perth while franchises bid for him here.
India's uncapped domestic stars Jaydev Unadkat and Pankaj Singh were among the big gainers in what turned out to be a rather bizarre buying pattern which saw franchises opting mostly for untested players, who have not yet made a mark in the international arena.
South African all-rounder Christopher Morris, who has played just one Twenty20 international, quite literally struck gold at the auction by fetching USD 625,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) after starting with a measly base price of USD 20,000.
The 25-year-old Morris was bought by Chennai Super Kings after an intense three-way bidding war with Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The unusual pattern continued with little-known Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake going much beyond his base price of USD 50,000.
The franchise that initially bid on him were Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings before Kolkata Knight Riders entered the fray to raise his price tag to USD 625,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) and snatch him from CSK.
Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile was put on sale at a base price of USD 100,000 but went for USD 450,000 to Mumbai Indians, who outbid the Rajasthan Royals.
The 25-year-old is yet to make his international debut and currently turns up only for Western Australia and Perth Scorchers in his domestic circuit.
Another uncapped player who triggered a bidding war was promising Australian pacer Kane Richardson. The 21-year-old, whose base price was USD 100,00, was ultimately bought by Pune Warriors for USD 700,000 (Rs 3.7 crore).
Among the Indians, Jaydev was bought for USD 525,000 (Rs 2.7 crore) by Royal Challengers Bangalore, much higher than his base price of USD 100,000.
Pankaj, on the other hand, was taken by the same franchise for USD 150,000, a massive jump from his base price of USD 50,000.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who performed consistently in the domestic arena, went to Pune Warriors for USD 675,000 (Rs 3.5 crore), a huge improvement on his base price of USD 100,000.
Another Indian pacer who managed to get a good deal was Manpreet Gony, who went for USD 500,000 (Rs 2.6 crore) to Kings XI Punjab.
As the auction progressed, there were more surprises in store as the likes of Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and forgotten Australian pacer Dirk Nannes triggered bidding wars which fetched them price tags much more than their base prices.
See the full list of sold, usold and to-be-auctioned players here