KPL is not in IPL league, players go for a song

With a Rs 7-lakh cap on bidding for the 48 top State players in place, eight franchises had to adopt a rather prudent approach to the auction.

Swashbuckling batsman Robin Uthappa attracted the highest bid during the auction. The Bangalore Brigaders (Urban) netted him for Rs 3.25 lakhs after warding off intense competition from other aspirants. Deepak Chougule, who will captain the KSCA XI in upcoming Buchi Babu Trophy in Chennai next week, too was acquired by the Brigaders for Rs 1.80 lakh.

There was a neck-and-neck race for Stuart Binny, who underlined his firepower with the bat in the recent Safi Darashah tournament, between Bijapur Bulls and Belgaavi Panthers. The Bulls had the last laugh, bagging the all-rounder for the second highest amount, Rs 3.20 lakh, in the auction.

The Panthers, whose bidding was led by captain/coach J Arun Kumar, too had their moments when they pocketed medium-pacer R Vinay Kumar (Rs 2.50 lakh) and young talent Manish Pandey, who had a memorable outing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2. Pandey attracted a bid of Rs 2.55 lakh.

First franchise
“We wanted to include Manish and Vinay in our ranks, and it was good to see our plan going along expected lines. Hopefully, we can gel well as a team and make an impact in the tournament,” Arun Kumar said. Young left-arm spinner K P Appanna, another RCB player, became the first player to be auctioned when Malnad Gladiators bought him for Rs 1.45 lakh. The Shimoga outfit was the first franchise to complete the bidding process, buying six players from the auction.

The third highest bid was for all-rounder B Akhil, with Providant Bangalore (Rural) signing him for Rs 3 lakh. The team had another brilliant buy when they managed to rope in wicketkeeper-batsman Thilak Naidu for Rs 1.10 lakh. They also got pacer N C Aiyappa for a surprisingly low Rs 80,000. As expected, veteran left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi was clinched by Shamanur Davangere Diamonds for Rs 2.05 lakh.

The Hubli/Dharwad team also made some potentially profitable procurements when they successfully bid for all-rounder Sunil N Raju (Rs 1.30 lakh), opening batsman C M Gautam (Rs 1.40 lakh) and promising young batsman Mayank Agarwal (Rs 1 lakh).

Team Mangalore focused mainly on middle-rung players and their prize catch was aggressive batsman Bharat Chipli, bought for Rs 2.35 lakh. They also made a rather surprise spending on Jonathan Rongsen, who despite coming towards the fag end of auction attracted Rs 1.80 lakh.

Mysore Maharajas had their eyes set on second-row players and the biggest name to join their ranks was all-rounder C Raghu for 1.60 lakh. But they had to shell out a higher prize, Rs 1.85 lakh, for young opener K B Pawan. Mithun Beerala, C B Karthik and P Yogesh did not attract any bid in the initial round. Eventually, Brigaders picked up Karthik (Rs 20,000) and Yogesh went to Panthers for Rs 45,000. Beerala, a former Karntaka Ranji player, was bought by Bulls for Rs 30,000.

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