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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 today.
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