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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent