Maxwell hits a maximum


Minutes after Australia had taken a 2-0 series lead against the West Indies at Perth, Glenn Maxwell found the time to tweet, "Seriously strange day that!" The 24-year-old from Victoria might well have said 'bizarre' or 'outlandish' and he wouldn't have been too far off the mark. As he walked back to the pavilion after a first-ball zero, little would he have known that six significant zeroes were about to be added to his bank balance.

The 24-year-old all-rounder might have been a tad indecisive while facing the Darren Sammy delivery that got the better of him at the WACA. Almost concurrently, thousands of miles away in Chennai, Mumbai Indians and Hyderabad Sunrisers were steadfast in their pursuit to procure Maxwell's services.

So intent were Nita Ambani & Co that they didn't mind splurging $1,000,000 to seal the deal. Maxwell, who started the day on the wrong foot, became the only million-dollar pick at the 2013 IPL auction.

Among others whom he left behind were Australian Test and ODI captain Michael Clarke (who went for $400,000 to Pune Warriors), the recently retired Aussie legend Ricky Ponting (who almost went unsold before being picked up for his base price of $400,000 by Mumbai).

Indeed, it was a strange day in Chennai. While the nine franchises showed lukewarm interest in many big names of world cricket, they were involved in a surprising bidding war post-lunch, scampering for lesser-known players such as Kane Richardson ($700,000/base price $100,000), Chris Moris ($625,000/base price $20,000) and Sachithra Senanayake ($625,000/base price $50,000).

While there were no two-million-dollar-plus bids like the one Ravindra Jadeja attracted last year, the Indians in the fray also elicited considerable interest. Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar went for $675,000 to Pune while seamers Jaydev Unadkat ($525,000), MS Gony ($500,000 to Kings XI Punjab) and RP Singh ($400,000) were also much sought-after.

... contd.

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