Bengaluru: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson today became the first million-dollar buy of the Indian Premier League players’ auction going to Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 9.5 crore (USD 1.39 million) after an intense bidding war.
India’s Yuvraj Singh wasn’t third-time lucky in terms of being the biggest buy but Sunrisers Hyderabad entered late into the fray to buy him for Rs 7 crore (USD 1.03 million).
Sunrisers Hyderabad also bought veteran pacer Ashish Nehra for Rs 5.50 crore (USD 810,000) pipping Kings XI Punjab and Gujarat Lions.
Debutants Pune Supergiants got Kevin Pietersen for Rs 3.5 crore (USD 515,000), the first player to go under the hammer, even though Gujarat Lions also bid intensely for the dashing England batsman. Pune also got Ishant Sharma Rs 3.8 crore (USD 559,000) Gujarat Lions got South African Dale Steyn and West Indian Dwayne Smith for Rs 2.3 crore (USD 338,000) each.
However, the player to hit the pay dirt was definitely Watson, who recently hit a smashing century in the third T20 International against India recently.
Also, he has been an ever-present player for the now banned Rajasthan Royals being the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in the league’s first season.
Watson has retired from the longer format but his 130-135 kmph seam-up stuff has also turned out to be handy on Indian pitches.
Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch and New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill were the players who went unsold in the first session.