MUMBAI: It is raining millions for Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff!
The two biggest names in the auction for season II of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have each gone for $1.55 million to Bengaluru and Chennai respectively
The auction was held in a plush resort in Goa this morning with most of the team owners in attendance. Noted absentee was Shahrukh Khan who abstained from the auction.
This is more than the previous highest ever forked out in the past. Dhoni had gone for $1.5 million to Chennai in the first auction. Andrew Symonds had gone for $1.35 million to Hyderabad.
Mallya is no doubt hoping that Pietersen's flamboyant style will help revserse his team's fortunes. He says that this is a very worthwhile investment and that he was ready to dish out a bigger sum to sign on Pietersen.
Mumbai Indians bought South African JP Duminy for $950,000. This was more than three times his base price of $300,000.
Australian pace bowler Shaun Tait went to the the defending champions Rajasthan Royals for $375,000.
Fidel Edwards was sold to Deccan Chargers for his base price of $150,000. Chamara Kapugedera found no bidders and remains unsold. He will be put up again at the end of the auction. Australian wicket keeper Brad Haddin and Stuart Clark also remained unsold along with Phil Jacques, Ashwell Prince and Andre Nel.
After a heated contest Owais Shah went to Delhi for $275,000. The franchise also bought Paul Collingwood for $275,000.
The big surprise though was Tyron Henderson. His base price was only $100,000 but went for $650,000 to Rajasthan Royals who outbid Deccan Chargers.
England's Ravi Bopara also hit the mother lode (Kings XI Punjab) going for $450,000.
The auctioneer mistakenly brought the gavel down on Kiwi opener Jesse Ryder ($100,000) as unsold without realising that Bengaluru had put in a bid. Others joined the fray, but Bengalaru finally got him at $160,000.
All the players auctioned today will be on a contract for two years.