For those that don’t know, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a new Twenty20 tournament where eight city ‘franchises’ compete for little prestige, but huge fiscal reward.
There were several players who were classed as ‘iconic’ and had to stay with their home teams, but everyone else was up for grabs in an auction. The city franchises bid what they were willing to pay each player per year.
For some reason, despite taking place in the land of the rupee in a conspicuously non-American sport, this whole bidding thing was done in US dollars.
How we wish everyone would gather together and say to us: “This is precisely what the world thinks of you – in dollars.” To put an actual monetary figure on a person’s worth is a cruel, cruel thing to do, no matter how handsomely said people are rewarded.
So without further ado, let’s all wade in and make it crueller.
Kieron Pollard – $750,000
A great Champions League is all you need. Mumbai Indians were convinced.
Shane Bond – $750,000
Old, injury-prone fast-bowlers can cope with four overs of Twenty20. Kolkata Knight Riders will benefit.
Kemar Roach – $720,000
Young, vicious fast-bowlers can let rip in four overs of Twenty20. Deccan Chargers have this at their disposal.
Wayne Parnell – $610,000
Have Delhi Daredevils only seen the last year of cricket or are they optimistic for the future? Good death bowling in the World Twenty20 made Wayne his fortune.
Mohammad Kaif – $250,000
Given the boot by Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab have given him a second chance.
Eoin Morgan – $220,000
You get the impression he’d have gone for more if he’d waited a year. Will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore
Damien Martyn – $100,000
Shane Warne must have had something to do with this Rajasthan Royals signing. He was crap in the ICL.
Kevin Pietersen – $1.55 million
Let’s see any cricketer justify that price tag. Bangalore Royal Challengers are out of pocket here.
Andrew Flintoff – $1.55 million
*Any* cricketer… Even Chennai Super Kings probably don’t think they’ve got a bargain in the cold light of day
JP Duminy – $950,000
He’d had a good three months leading up to the auction and Mumbai Indians have short memories.
Tyron Henderson – $650,000
One South Africa game to his credit. Rajasthan Royals will hope to play him a bit more than that.
Mashrafe Mortaza – $600,000
Kolkata Knight Riders clearly want to tap the Bangladeshi market.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – $1.5 million
Everyone bid for Dhoni. He’s swoonsome. Dhoni went to Chennai.
Andrew Symonds – $1.35 million
Symonds is usually frightened of the subcontinent, finding any old excuse not to visit. He’ll counter by saying that that’s just Pakistan, which is just as well when there are seven-figure sums at stake. Hyderabad wanted Symonds *this much*.
Ishant Sharma – $950,000
Long memories from the bidders here. Kolkata finally ended up with a player who’s been playing international cricket for about a fortnight.
Manoj Tiwary – $675,000
No clue. It’s 300-and-odd thousand per international run he’s scored though. Delhi were the frugal chaps who invested in him.
Shane Warne – $450,000
Shane, unfortunately the world thinks that you’re $50,000 worse than Cameron White. That’s assuming Jaipur haven’t vastly overpaid for you.
Ricky Ponting – $400,000
Another duff bid. Everyone point and laugh. Ricky Ponting went for less than Mark Boucher. In fact, Ponting is Kolkata’s seventh most valuable player. Score.
Matthew Hayden – $375,000
Everyone point and laugh again, only this time really put your backs into it. Chennai wanted Matthew Hayden, but only about half as much as they wanted Jacob Oram, Albie Morkel and Suresh Raina, all of whom clocked in at $600,000 plus.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul – $200,000
Bangalore would have been better off getting three-and-a-half more Shivs instead of their one Jacques Kallis, but still. At least they got one.
About these values
We’ve read a few articles about how this auction will have bruised a few egos. Doubtless it will, but it’s not so straightforward as just looking at the price and that’s what the player’s worth.
It’s a different format of the game for one thing (admittedly now the most financially rewarding format). Certain sorts of players are of greater worth than others. Quick-scoring entertainers are who the franchises want. Bowlers are also less desirable as they can only contribute for four overs wheras batsmen have potentially the entire innings to influence the match.
There are also certain rules that have boosted particular players’ values. Each side must feature four Indian players as well as four players under the age of 22. Get yourself a 19-year-old like Ishant Sharma and you’re fulfilling your quotas. Glenn McGrath however ($350,000), will take up one of your four overseas spots and you’ll get four overs, no batting and negligible fielding out of him.
We’re a bit uncertain about what happens at the end of the season. Players can be traded, but contracts have been guaranteed by the BCCI for three years. Maybe it’s worth getting younger players into your side early on before they’re worth more. That might be another reason why some of the more established names have gone for less than you might expect.