Pavan Deshpande (₹7.3 lakh) reaped the biggest reward in the player auction for the 8th edition of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) held here on Saturday. After a period of hectic bidding, all-rounder Deshpande was snapped up by Shivamogga Lions.
Fellow elite Pool ‘A’ player Aniruddha Joshi was signed by Mysuru Warriors for ₹7.1 lakh.
Attacking batsman Jonathan Rongsen, despite featuring in the lower Pool ‘B’, went to Bengaluru Blasters for an impressive ₹6 lakh.
Karnataka State team regulars Karun Nair, Shreyas Gopal and Ronit More went unsold, as there are doubts surrounding their availability for the KPL due to possible domestic and international commitments.
There are similar availability concerns surrounding other big names like K. Gowtham, Prasidh Krishna, Manish Pandey and R. Samarth, but franchises took the gamble and picked them.
Santosh Menon, KSCA Hon. Assistant Secretary, explained, “Should a player get picked to play Duleep Trophy, franchisees have the option of replacing him with a player from the auction list. They will be compensated on a pro rata basis.”
Players like K.B. Pawan and Amit Verma, who currently play for other States, are eligible to compete in the KPL because they have represented Karnataka in the past, Santosh added.
Robin Uthappa, although in the Pool ‘A’ list initially, asked to be left out of the auction due to his commitments with the Kerala Cricket Association. Stuart Binny was not part of the auction list, as he will be away playing club cricket in England.
Mysuru Warriors created a flutter when their team officials bid and picked Karun Nair, only to back out later. After selecting Karun, Mysuru team officials called Karun on the phone, but the batsman informed them that he will not be available to play the tournament. The team officials then asked for the bid to be retracted. Officials from other franchises objected, but KSCA accepted Warriors' request, and allowed Warriors to pick Samarth in place of Karun.
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