England's big two rule world

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

Suggested Topics
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas