Yuvi fetches record deal

Karthik big winner; Punjab get Maxwell; heartbreak for Pathans

Yuvi fetches record deal

 Yuvraj Singh was immersed in prayers at the Golden Temple in Amritsar when his name was called out by auctioneer Richard Madeley for bidding on the opening day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) players auction in a city hotel on Wednesday.

Out in the wilderness in recent times, a lucrative IPL contract could have been the last thing on Yuvraj’s mind. But soon a friend broke the news to Yuvraj that he was drafted into Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 14 crore after a heated bidding battle with Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.

The bid also made Yuvraj the highest paid player in the history of the IPL, going past Gautam Gambhir’s Rs 11.4 crore enrolment in Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011.

For a brief while, intense bidding for Dinesh Karthik threatened Yuvraj’s record but the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batsman went to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 12.5 crore.

Yuvraj also had his share of luck as initially RCB’s bid was stopped at Rs 10 crore, and just when Madeley was pressing down the hammer he spotted the bidding pad in Kolkata Knight Riders’ camp. The Englishman was forced to reopen the bid much to the consternation of the Royal Challengers but they had no other choice but to continue to take part since they wanted Yuvraj desperately in their ranks.

After a quick exchange with the Knight Riders, Royal Challengers managed to add Yuvraj to their line-up for a one-year period that can be extended for two more years at the discretion of the franchise.

Vijay Mallya, owner of the Royal Challengers, wasn’t exactly happy that he had to shell out an extra Rs 4 crore for Yuvraj, but found it satisfying to have the swashbuckler in his team. “We are very happy to have Yuvraj as part of the RCB. Our captain Kohli was keen on him.

The (extra) four crore was unfortunate but the auctioneer has the sole discretion and he decided to re-open; he did look around and he didn't see anyone at that time but life must go on. The bottom line is that we are very happy." Mallya, however, adopted a different stance later.

Three other players too walked into the big money bracket -- Kevin Pitersen (Rs 9 crore), Mitchell Johnson (Rs 6.5 crore) and Glenn Maxwell (Rs 6 crore), but there was heartbreak for some others like  the Pathan brothers.

Yusuf and Irfan were drafted in respectively by Kolkata and Sunrisers but with pay-packet much less than what they attracted three years ago. New Zealander Corey Anderson was expected to hit the jackpot in the auction, but he had to settle for a Rs 4.5 crore final bid from Mumbai Indians.

The auction will continue on Thursday for the remaining players.

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