Annual auction is sale of the century-makers
A Wiltshire antiques expert and occasional village cricketer once again presided over the world’s biggest sports auction yesterday as $11.9 million was spent by Indian businessmen on 37 cricketers to play for their teams.
The annual player auction in advance of the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 cricket competition that is the world’s richest, took place in Chennai yesterday.
The auction is played out live on Indian TV and Richard Madley, the auctioneer for each of the six years of the IPL has taken the bids. It has made him a famous face in India.
Yesterday’s auction was relatively quiet compared to previous years, young Australian spinner Glenn Maxwell stole the headlines when the Mumbai Indians bid $1 million for his services, while Aussie legends Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke only attracted one bid each.
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“Each auction has had its own highlight,” said Mr Madley, who said selling Indian batsman MS Dhoni for $1.5 million in the first auction was the ‘highlight’ of his career.