Sardar gets the biggest deal

UP bags Raghunath for Rs 41.4 lakh; only base price for Sandeep

Sardar gets the biggest deal

India’s captain and star playmaker Sardar Singh became the highest paid player as he went for a whopping $78,000 (Rs 42.5 lakhs approx) to Delhi Wave Riders while Uttar Pradesh Wizards bought ace drag-flicker VR Raghunath for $76,000 at the Hockey India League (HIL) players’ auction here on Sunday.

Such was the bidding war for Raghunath between UP Wizards and Delhi that his ultimate sale price turned out to be $10,000 more than UP franchise’s marquee player Teun de Nooijer, who was bought for $66,000 (approx Rs 35.93 lakh). Interestingly, Raghunath’s base price was only $13,900 (Rs 7.56 lakh).

Sardar with India team-mate Sandeep Singh, Australian Jamie Dwyer, Dutch legend Teun De Nooijer and German Mortiz Fuertse were the marquee players of the league. Dwyer was bought by Jaypee Punjab Warriors for $60,000, Fuertse by Ranchi Rhinos for $75,500 and Nooijer by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for $66,000.

But Sandeep, who is out of the team after a poor show at the London Olympics, was sold to Mumbai Magicians for a base price of $27,800. But thanks to Australian defender Joel Caroll, Sandeep will be getting a better pay package. Caroll was bought by Mumbai for $56,000 and as a marquee player Sandeep will be getting 15 percent more than the Australian.

The biggest disappointment of the day was former India captain and goalkeeper Bharat Chettri going unsold. The Kalimpong boy had a reserve price of $18,550.

Chettri, who led India to a last-place finish at the London Olympics, was dropped from the national squad after the Games.

India’s other two goalkeepers got a good deal. First choice goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, with a reserve price of $13,900, was sold to Mumbai Magicians for $38,000 while PT Rao, who made an impressive debut at the age of 34 at the Champions Trophy, was also sold to Mumbai for $17,000. Rao had a reserve price of $5,600.

Other important Indian players sold at the auction were SV Sunil (Punjab for $42,000), Yuvraj Walmiki (Delhi for $18,000), and Shivendra Singh (Punjab for $27,500).

Mumbai’s Tushar Khandkar was sold for only $100 more than his reserve price of $13,900 to Uttar Pradesh while SK Uthappa went to the same team for $25,000 and Gurbaj Singh to Delhi for $36,000.

Seasoned campaigner Ignace Tirkey, who had a reserve price of $13,900, went to Punjab for $31,000 while young defender Rupinder Pal Singh, with a base price of $9,250, was sold to Uttar Pradesh for $56,000.

The only Briton in the auction, Ashley Jackson, was another big gainer, going home with a purse of $73,000 -- a good buy for the Ranchi Rhinos.

Unlike cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL), there were no problems with the auction of Pakistani players as the Mumbai franchise bought Fareed Ahmed for $21,000 and Mohammed Rashid for $41,000.

“I am extremely delighted that I have been able to command a good price,” said a delighted Sardar. “I wasn’t aware about my price as I arrived late for the auction. By the time I reached here, I was already sold,” Sardar said with a smile of contentment.

All teams were given a purse of $650,000. Each team will comprise 24 players -- 14 Indians and 10 overseas. The league will be held in five cities from January 17, 2013.

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