England stars left in shade of million dollar Glenn Maxwell


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The Independent Online

For the second year running, England internationals Matt Prior and Ravi Bopara failed to attract any bids at the player auction for the Indian Premier League.

The duo, who were the only two England players represented in the auction, were both ignored, with franchises choosing to spend their money in the run-up to the sixth IPL campaign on less experienced Australian alternatives such as off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

Prior was available at a base rate of US$200,000 (£128,000), while Bopara would have cost just $100,000 (£64,000), with both free to start the county season with Sussex and Essex respectively.

All-rounder Bopara played for Kings XI Punjab in the 2009 and 2010 IPL tournaments, averaging 29.69 from 14 innings, but the 27-year-old has not featured for the last two years. Ireland batsman Kevin O'Brien also went unselected for a second year running.

England will still have representation in the IPL through batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan, who are already contracted to Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. Owais Shah is also signed up with the Rajasthan Royals.

A fierce bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Hyderabad Sunrisers saw Maxwell picked up by Mumbai for $1 million - the highest bid of any player in the auction. It was around the same time that the 24-year-old was getting out for a golden duck in the latest one-day international against the West Indies in Perth.

"I have never in my life seen this much money," Maxwell told ESPNcricinfo. Asked what he will do with the money, he said, "I suppose one of the things I'd like to do is give my parents anything they should like and spoil them a little bit."

Maxwell has played only eight ODIs and nine T20s , and so was relatively unknown when he arrived at Hampshire last season. Yesterday he took four wickets as Australia defeated West Indies by 54 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, despite his being hit for four consecutive sixes by Sunil Narine.

His new side finished third in last year's competition, before losing in the eliminator match to eventual winners Chennai Super Kings.

Nita Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, was full of praise for Maxwell. "He can bat, bowl and I think he is a great fielder," he said. "We had thought of some names before we came here and he was one of them. He is an upcoming youngster."

Maxwell holds the record for the fastest one-day 50 in Australia's domestic history. The Victoria batsma struck a 19-ball half-century against Tasmania during 2010-11 season.

However, Maxwell's sale could not eclipse the top sale of last year's auction, when India's Ravindra Jadeja moved to Chennai for $2 million.

The next highest sale yesterday was Ajantha Mendis, who was sold for $725,000 (£462,000) to Pune Warriors. India all-rounder Nayar joins Pune for $675,000 (£430,000).

Australia captain Michael Clarke was picked up for $400,000 (£255,000) by Pune Warriors, while former teammate and skipper Ricky Ponting went for the same price to Mumbai Indians.