Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Knight Riders pay more than US$2m for Gambhir, Pathan

AFP, BANGALORE, INDIA

Indian stars Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan were snapped up for more than US$2 million each at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction yesterday, smashing the record price paid for an IPL player.

Left-handed opener Gambhir was the first player to go under the hammer for the scandal-plagued tournament’s fourth edition, bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for US$2.4 million, far higher than his base price of US$200,000.

Gambhir was soon joined in the exclusive bracket by all-rounder Pathan, who was snapped up by the same franchise for US$2.1 million. Pathan’s reserve price was US$300,000.

The prices paid easily eclipsed the previous record price paid for the England duo of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, who went for US$1.55 million each in 2009.

Pietersen, with a base price of US$400,000, was bought by Deccan Chargers for US$650,000 this time.

Among the US$1 million men were New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene, South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers and India’s Yuvraj Singh.

Former West Indies captain Brian Lara and a host of England’s Ashes heroes were also among 353 players up for grabs at the two-day auction in Bangalore.

Lara and England paceman James Anderson were among 21 cricketers with the highest reserve price of US$400,000 for a three-year contract.

Other foreigners on offer included Australia’s Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee, South Africa’s Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, and New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori.

Twelve players have been retained by their original franchises, with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni staying with the Chennai Super Kings, while Shane Warne and Shane Watson are sticking with the Rajasthan Royals.

Pakistan’s cricketers continue to miss out on the IPL bonanza after none of them was included in the auction.

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