Mithun, Uthappa go big in KPL auctions

At the Karnataka Premier League auction, Abhimanyu Mithun and M. Nidisih struck it rich in Pool A and B respectively.

Vinay Kumar and the Hubli Tigers management consider their options during the KPL auction here on Saturday   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Abhimanyu Mithun and M. Nidish struck it rich at the Karnataka Premier League auction here on Saturday, drawing the highest bids in Pool A and B respectively. The 8.3 lakh Shivamogga Lions shelled out for Mithun was a record for the KPL auction -- beating the 7.2 lakh paid for K. Gowtham and Amit Verma last year -- and came on a day of frenetic bidding for some experienced hands. Robin Uthappa, a proven T20 performer, went to Bengaluru Blasters for 7.9 lakh and Verma, a much-wanted man again, to Mysuru Warriors for 7.6.

Three teams -- Shivamogga Lions, Ballari Tuskers and Bengaluru Blasters -- were in the race to sign Mithun, driving the price up before Shivamogga prevailed in the end. The fast bowler is also a powerful striker of the ball, as he showed last season with a match-winning 12-ball-32 in the semifinals for Bijapur Bulls.

Nidish, incidentally Mithun's teammate last year, topped the Pool B money-list with a price of 5.85 lakh -- over 23 times his base price. An attacking batsman, Nidish was pursued by as many as four teams before Belagavi Panthers secured his services at the end. Jonathan Rongsen was also a big gainer in Pool B, going to Shivamogga Lions for 5.45 lakh.

Opener Md. Taha (5 lakh to Hubli Tigers) and medium-pacers T. Pradeep (6.5 lakh to Ballari Tuskers), H.S. Sharath (4.3 lakh to Belagavi Panthers) and Prateek Jain (4.3 lakh to Mysuru Warriors) were the other notable buys from Pool A. Veterans like K.B. Pawan (4.55 lakh to Bengaluru Blasters), Arjun Hoysala (3.10 lakh to Mysuru Warriors), Suneel Raju (3.50 lakh to Bijapur Bulls), K.P. Appanna (3.85 lakh to Bijapur Bulls) and Abrar Kazi (3.50 lakh to Ballari Tuskers) were all in demand, showing that franchises placed great value on their experience.

K. Gowtham, Mayank Agarwal, R. Samarth, Prasidh Krishna and Shreyas Gopal were all initially ignored, with their probable India-A and Duleep Trophy commitments in mind, but franchises were willing to take a gamble, eventually selecting three of them for nominal prices. Eventually, only two Pool A players -- Gopal and Samarth -- went unsold.

Top 10 buys (in lakh)

Abhimanyu Mithun 8.3 (Shivamogga), Robin Uthappa 7.9 (Bengaluru), Amit Verma 7.6 (Mysuru), T. Pradeep 6.5 (Ballari), M. Nidish 5.85 (Belagavi), Jonathan Rongsen 5.45 (Shivamogga), Md. Taha 5 (Hubli), K.B. Pawan 4.55 (Bengaluru), H.S. Sharath (Belagavi) and Prateek Jain (Mysuru) 4.3.


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