England's big two rule world
Saturday 07 February 2009
England's Big Two became the most valuable players in world cricket yesterday. Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen each fetched $1.55m (£1.1m) at the Indian Premier League players' auction, breaking the record price set last year by the India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. From England's viewpoint the equal prices were every bit as important as the record. It means that neither man will be able to claim bragging rights in the England dressing room during the tough tour of the West Indies which has just started and the equilibrium of the team will be unaffected – at least by the IPL.
Flintoff will play for Chennai Super Kings, where he will link up with Dhoni and Muttiah Muralitharan, and Pietersen for Bangalore Royal Challengers, where his colleagues will include Rahul Dravid, in the Twenty20 tournament which starts on 10 April. Although both were expected to bring high prices at the auction in Goa, nobody expected a joint world record.
The auction price represents the wage players will be paid in the IPL. Since Flintoff and Pietersen have been released for three weeks in the first year of their three-year contract they can each expect to earn around £550,000. Three other England players were recruited at what was a low-key auction in Goa with 17 players being bought for a total of $7.65m from a list of 49. Ravi Bopara went for $450,000 to Kings XI Punjab and Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood to Delhi Daredevils for $275,000. Tyron Henderson, Middlesex's big-hitting South Africa all-rounder was bought for $650,000 by the IPL Champions, Rajasthan Royals.
The IPL has propelled cricket into the stratosphere hitherto occupied by football and surprised both Pietersen and Flintoff. "I'm very pleased," said Flintoff. "However, I'm here playing a Test match, my mind is full of that. I just regard it as a massive bonus." On the equal pay for he and Pietersen he said: "We were all right but it will stop the other lads taking the mick."
If anything, Pietersen was still more thrilled. "I'm really excited about it, it is an unbelievable amount of money and I can't wait to get out there."
It was another cat that got the cream day for IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, who said: "This was a very strategic auction with each franchisee knowing exactly what they wanted in terms of international talent to strengthen their playing squads. I am certain now more than ever that fans across India and indeed the world are in for an exciting second season."
Going, going, gone...Top six in IPL auction
*K Pietersen (Eng) $1.55m (£1.1m)
A Flintoff (Eng) $1.55m
J P Duminy (SA) $950,000
T Henderson (SA) $650,000
M Bin Mortaza (Bang) 600,000
R Bopara (Eng) $450,000
Others: P Collingwood (Eng) $275,000
O Shah (Eng) $275,000
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United? 'My next move will be a surprise' says PSG striker
Ashes 2015 live: Latest score and updates with Australia on the brink of humiliating defeat after Jimmy Anderson claims David Warner wicket
Angel Di Maria fined £360,000 for US no-show as £44m move to PSG set to open door for Manchester United to launch Pedro bid
Javier Hernandez to Tottenham: Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino rejects reports over move for Manchester United striker
John Stones transfer latest: Manchester United interest could bump Chelsea bid up to £34m as Everton hold out for asking price
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 Amazon Prime - how to cancel: after Top Gear hiring, instructions on how to leave premium service
- 3 Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon Prime deal to reunite Top Gear trio thumbs nose at the BBC
- 4 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
- 5 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'