IPL7: Prize catch

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SummaryBig money moves at IPL auctions where franchise owners splash the cash to bag the best players for the season.

Big money moves at IPL auctions where franchise owners splash the cash to bag the best players for the season. But do they prove to be the moolah’s worth? We look at the top five buys from each of the past three editions to find out

Amid the raging controversies of match-fixing and betting miring the seventh edition of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, an extravagant players’ auction held earlier in the week drew the best of the cricketing world, not to forget a whole lot of money. While flamboyant Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh bagged the highest bid of R14 crore from Vijay Mallya-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik came a close and surprise second at R12.5 crore, bought by Delhi Daredevils, which had decided not to retain a single player before the auction. Controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose England career had come to an abrupt end after a disastrous Ashes campaign recently, fetched R9 crore, bought by Delhi Daredevils, the franchise he played for in the last season.

Just before the start of the star-studded auction, where Bollywood actors and business tycoons were present, IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal had said, “It’s a grand affair and in every edition, IPL has grown bigger. The seventh edition would be no exception; it will be grander and more entertaining for the fans and franchises.”

However, as the saying goes, ‘behind every successful story, there is a story’, IPL, too, has had its share of unpleasant moments. Since the inception of the popular T20 tournament seven years ago, the league has been mired in controversies, one after another.

Be it the suspension and consequent life ban of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi for

“alleged acts of individual misdemeanours”, the termination of the Kochi franchise in

2011 for breaching BCCI’s terms of agreement, the spot-fixing saga involving S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, or the latest alleged role of BCCI president Srinivasan’s son-in-law and CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, IPL has traversed a long and difficult road so far.

Having said that, these issues could never impact the amount of money that went into the making of the big, fat cricketing jamboree that IPL has become today. From R4.8 crore going to the winning team in 2008, to R10 crore for the winning team in the last edition, the tournament has come a long way.

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