Flintoff, Pietersen go for $1.55 mn each in IPL auction (Lead)

February 6th, 2009 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 6 (IANS) Top England cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen became the most expensive players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Friday when were sold for $1.55 million each to Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers, respectively, at the second players auction here.Flintoff’s base price was $950,000 while Pietersen’s was $1.35 million. The duo have overtaken Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was bought by Super Kings last year for $1.5 million.

Former England captain Paul Collingwood and his teammate Owais Shah were bought by Delhi Daredevils for $275,000 each.

South African sensation Jean Paul Duminy, who was the hero in the Proteas’ series win against Australia, went to Mumbai Indians for $950,000. The left-hander’s base price was just $300,000 and was bought by Mumbai Indians, who finished fifth in the inaugural IPL, after an aggressive bidding.

IPL Champions Rajasthan Royals, made up for the absence of Pakistani bowler Sohail Tanveer, by buying Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait for $375,000. Deccan Chargers bought West Indies medium pacer Fidel Edwards for $150,000.

England players, however, will be available for only three weeks to play in the tournament starting April 10.

Chennai Super Kings owner N. Srinivasan, who is also the secretary of the Indian cricket board, said that Flintoff was always their first choice and they were happy to get him.

“Flintoff is an outstanding all-rounder and he will improve the balance of the team,” he said.

Royal Challenger’s owner and liquor baron Vijay Mallya said Pietersen would increase the team’s batting strength.

“I was always very keen on Pietersen. He is a superb addition to our team. He increases the batting strength of our team,” he said.

The Challengers led by Rahul Dravid finished seventh last year in the eight-team tournament. Dravid later stepped down as captain of the team.

“The captaincy is still open and the team management will decide on it,” Mallya said.

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