IPL auction shocks: Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke get top base price of over Rs 2 cr
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They are not exactly Twenty20 stars but retired Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and his successor Michael Clarke have attracted the highest base price of USD 400,000 (approx Rs 2.1 crore) among the 101 names who will go under the hammer in the IPL players' auction to be held here on Sunday.
There are four marquee players in the list, the other two being South African all-rounder Johan Botha and out-of-favour Indian pacer R P Singh, whose base price has been pegged at USD 100,000 (Rs 53.3 lakh).
Singh was bought by Mumbai Indians last year for USD 600,000 but after a dismal show of 10 wickets from 11 matches, he was released by the franchise.
While Clarke was previously with Pune Warriors Indians, Ponting played for Kolkata Knight Riders last season. Botha, on the other hand, has attracted a base price of USD 300,000 (Rs 1.6 crore).
The list includes seven Indians, two Englishmen and Irish all-rounder Kevin O'Brien.
Even though Clarke and Ponting have attracted the highest base price but their T20 credentials are not exactly exciting.
Clarke retired from the format a couple of years ago, while the 38-year-old Ponting did not quite click with his initial franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
Darren Sammy, who captained the West Indies in their World Twenty20 Championships triumph last year, will be among the first-timers up for sale. His base price has been set at USD 100,000.
Among other international players, England's Matt Prior and Ravi Bopara, both of whom went unsold last season, have a base price of USD 100,000 and USD 200,000 (Rs 1.06 crore).
The auction is expected to be a low-key affair owing to lack of star players in the list.
"Apart from filling in certain small gaps, I do not see any big action happening this time around. Also with the player contracts expiring after the 2013 season, it would be difficult to place your bets on any big buys," a franchise official was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.