Flamboyant all-rounder Yuvraj Singh drew the biggest bid after the first four rounds of the high-profile Indian Premier League players' auction in Bangalore with Royal Challengers Bangalore clinching his services for a whopping Rs 14 crore on Wednesday.Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik emerged as a surprise big draw going for Rs 12.5 crore to Delhi Daredevils, who had decided not to retain a single player before the auctions.
Controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose England career came to an end abrupt end after a disastrous Ashes campaign, fetched a huge Rs 9 crore purse, bought by Delhi Daredevils, the franchise he played for last season. Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson (Rs 6.5 crore, Kings XI Punjab), Indian opener Murali Vijay (Rs 5 crore, Delhi Daredevils), South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (Rs 5.5 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders), Robin Uthappa (Rs 5 crore, KKR), West Indian batsman Dwayne Smith (Rs 4.5 crore, Chennai Super Kings), Amit Mishra (Rs 4.25 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Aaron Finch (Rs 4 crore, SRH) were some of the players who triggered intense bidding wars in first three rounds of the auction. 514 players are going under the hammer over two days, 318 of whom are Indians, including uncapped players, who are being auctioned for the first time.
"It's a grand affair and every edition IPL has grown bigger. The seventh edition would be no exception, it will be grander and more entertaining for fans and franchises," IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal said before the start of the star-studded auction where Bollywood actors and business tycoons were present.
Actress Preity Zinta, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, Juhi Chawla, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, businessman Vijay Mallya, Nita Ambani (Mumbai Indians), cricketers Rahul Dravid (Rajasthan Royals), Anil Kumble (Mumbai Indians) were among the celebrities present at the auction which was beamed live.
Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene and former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor surprisingly found no buyers. Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and batsman David Hussey also suffered a similar fate. These players can come back into auction after all the rounds are over.