IPL auction: Big business and buzz inside, life normal outside

January 8th, 2011 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Jan 8 (IANS) The rich and the famous traded millions of dollars for the pretty wealthy but more famous cricketers inside an upscale hotel here Saturday as Bangaloreans went about their business as usual.The streets remained crowded, perhaps a bit more due to the weekend and holiday for government offices as it is the second Saturday of the month. Every second Saturday the state government offices are closed in Karnataka.

The venue of the auction of 350 cricketers for the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 matches, ITC Royal Gardenia, is located at such a busy junction that it would be difficult to make out there was an extra crowd outside to get a feel of the big business inside.

The hotel is a stone’s throw from Richmond Circle, a confluence of four arterial roads. A flyover was built to end traffic jams at the junction about four years ago. But with a 1,000 vehicles added every day to Bangalore roads, it takes up to 30 minutes to get out of the area, particularly in the morning and evening peak hours.

The flyover was a butt of jokes till a few months ago, for there was a traffic signal and a cop on top to man it at one point.

Unlike the match days when the shops selling TVs remained crowded as the show was live, there were not many Saturday even though the sets blared professional auctioneer from London Richard Madley coaxing bidders to loosen the purse strings for each player.

The news of who bought whom and for how much was being almost constantly exchanged through SMSes. Occasionally the passers-by did ask the ones who were watching the proceedings live outside the shops, ‘what is the latest’ and moved on.

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