No takers for Ashes heroes and cricket legends

Saturday, January 8, 2011

BANGALORE - There were no takers for England’s Ashes heroes James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Matt Prior and cricket legends like Brian Lara and Sourav Ganguly on the first day of the players’ auction for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Saturday.

Ganguly, India’s most successful Test captain, was the first of the 16 players to go into the unsold basket at the ITC Royal Gardenia. Ganguly was earlier placed in the $200,000 price bracket, but he later increased his base price to $400,000, which is the highest bracket for marquee players in the league.

Ganguly, who was the oldest Indian player up for auction at 38 years and six months, had a tough time with Knight Riders and was also removed from captaincy in the second edition in South Africa.

But Knight Riders were not interested in Ganguly and released him for the fourth edition. During Ganguly’s auction, the spotlight was on the Knight Riders’ table, but the team’s think tank looked down as his name was repeatedly called before he went to the unsold basket.

Ganguly was soon joined by another Knight Riders player Gayle in the unsold category.

At 41, Lara was the oldest player in the IPL auction and failed to attract any of the 10 franchises and the celebrity auctioneer Richard Madley didn’t waste much time to dump him in the unsold basket where he joined Gayle, another former West Indies captain.

Lara made a return to competitive cricket by playing in Zimbabwe’s premier Twenty20 league in October. He was eager to play in the IPL and was also working on his fitness.

IPL chairman Chirayu Amin said that the unsold players will get another chance to find buyers.

“The unsold players will be back in the fray again after the initial rounds are over. This is a reality of the game. It is extremely competitive and the choice of players is left with the owners. The IPL governing council has no say in this matter. It is unfortunate but thats the reality of life, said Amin.

The list of 16 unsold cricketers:

Sourav Ganguly (India) $400,000

Brian Lara (West Indies) $400,000

Chris Gayle (West Indies) $400,000

Luke Wright (England) $400,000

James Anderson (England) $400,000

Graeme Swann (England)$400,000

Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) $200,000

Matt Prior (England) $200,000

Mark Boucher (South Africa) $200,000

Murali Kartik (India) $200,000

Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka) $200,000

Jesse Ryder (New Zealand) $100,000

Dilharo Fernando (Sri Lanka) $100,000

Chamara Kapugedera (Sri Lanka) $100,000

Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh) $100,000

Graham Manou (Australia) $50,000

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