Martin Guptill, New Zealand’s consistent star, and one among the marquee players, may have been unsold in the first round of the IPL auction at the ITC Gardenia Hotel here on Saturday morning but the league’s chairman Rajeev Shukla held out some hope when he said: “Those players, who were left out, can be picked again.”
Incredibly excited to join >@RCBTweets . Can't wait to meet up with my new teammates in April. >#IPL2016— Shane Watson (@ShaneRWatson33) >February 6, 2016
Amrit Thomas, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s director, meanwhile, was happy to pocket Shane Watson, who at Rs. 9.50 crore turned out to be the most expensive buy in the morning session. “Shane Watson was what we were looking for. We wanted an international all rounder and he is the best in the business,” said Thomas.
And as for bidding for Yuvraj Singh till Rs. 5.50 crore and then backing out (Yuvraj was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs. 7 crore), Thomas clarified: “We had kept a ceiling price and once we reached that, we stopped. He is a valued player and hopefully sometime he will play for us in the future.”
New entrant Rising Pune Supergiants CEO Raghu Iyer was happy with the team’s initial picks – Kevin Pietersen (Rs. 3.50 crore) and Ishant Sharma (Rs. 3.80 crore). “We are happy with the two gentlemen we have bought – Pietersen and Ishant. When you have just five players, when you look at building a team, we look at allrounders as well,” Iyer said.
On the Lodha recommendations
The Lodha Committee’s wide-ranging recommendations briefly surfaced in the morning’s first press-conference here during the IPL auction and the BCCI officials offered a straight bat to the questions.
Queried about the need for adequate space between international cricket and IPL, as suggested by the Lodha Committee, the league’s chairman Rajeev Shukla replied: “The IPL schedule has nothing to do with the Lodha committee, we are studying that (the recommendations).”
Adding to Shukla’s remarks, the IPL’s chief operating officer Ratnakar Shetty said: “They are just comments in the Lodha report, we look at the best available space for the IPL and we will put that across to the committee.”
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