Young Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the lone millionaire on an evening that saw the sale of 37 players from a pool of 108 for a total of 11.89 million dollars on Sunday.
Maxwell commanded a winning bid of exactly seven figures from Mumbai Indians following a fierce competition between Nita Ambani's franchise and newbies Hyderabad Sunrisers in preparation for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that begins in April.
Explaining their hugely expensive buy of Maxwell, Mumbai Indians mentor Anil Kumble said, "He is an exciting player and a good catch for us. I knew him before he made his debut for Australia. He will be with the Australian team in India for the Test series, so looking forward to the challenge."
The auction adopted a bizarre route, with most franchises opting to forgo the known names in favour of the unknown commodity. As a result, rank outsiders proved to be the biggest gainers, a case in point being South Africa's 25-year-old all-rounder Chris Morris, who was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for 625,000 dollars from a base price of 20,000 dollars.
Other major successes included Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis (725,000 dollars, Pune Warriors India), rookie Australian quick Kane Richardson (700,000 dollars, PWI), and Thisara Perera (675,000 dollars, Hyderabad Sunrisers). Mumbai's Ranji Trophy hero Abhishek Nayar also made himself richer by 675,000 dollars, thanks to Pune.
Of the 108 names that were to go under the hammer on the day, Ricky Ponting's and Michael Clarke's were the biggest. But both iconic Aussies went to their first base price bids -- of 400,000 dollars -- to Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors respectively.