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'I was always keen to get Pietersen'

February 06, 2009 12:10 IST

Star England players Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff on Friday became the most expensive players of the Indian Premier League after being sold for a whopping $ 1.55 million (appr Rs 7.35 crore) in the second edition, getting Rs 1.35 crore more than what Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni got in the first edition.

The hard-hitting Pietersen, who was England's captain till recently, was bought by Bangalore Royal Challengers while Flintoff went to Chennai Super Kings at the auction which was beamed live by most television channels.

Bangalore Royal Challenger, who had finished at the bottom half of the high-profile League in the inaugural edition, spent most of their total amount of $ 1.95 million on the highly talented Pietersen who had base price of $ 1.35 million.

Flintoff, another former England captain, expectedly got a good bidding and will now feature in the same team as Dhoni who is the captain of Chennai Super Kings.

Among other players first to be auctioned, Australia's Shuan Tait was purchased by title holders of the inaugural edition Rajasthan Royals for $ 375,000 while upcoming South African batsman Jean Paul Duminy went to Mumbai Indians for $ 950,000.

West Indian paceman Fidel Edwards was bought for his base price of $ 150,000 by Deccan Chargers. England's Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood were bought by Delhi Daredevils for $ 275,000 each.

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said that the contracts of all the auctioned players will be for two years.

Owner of Bangalore Royal Challengers Vijay Mallya said he was always keen to get the services of Pietersen as he would add value to the team.

"I was always keen to get Pietersen. He would be a superb addition to the team. We had a list of players before the auction and KP topped that list. We needed to strengthen our batting and I was prepared to pay more for him," Mallya said.

"It is a worthwhile investment and ensure the balance that we wanted in our team", he said.

South African all rounder Tyron Henderson was bought by Rajasthan Royals for $ 650,000 (appr Rs 3.18 crore), a massive jump from his base price of $ 100,000.

Australian opener Phil Jaques went unsold alongwith South African batsman Ashwell Prince. Australian paceman Stuart Clark, who had a base price of $ 250,000 also failed to attract a buyer in the initial round of auctioning.

Another Australian Luke Wright also went unsold with the bidders not showing much interest on the Australians who were up for auction. England all-rounder Ravi Bopara was bought by Kings XI Punjab for $ 450,000 (appr Rs 2.20 crore), far beyond his base price of $ 150,000.

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