Kevin Pietersen tipped to smash IPL auction record price


Kevin Pietersen will learn who he will be representing in this year's Indian Premier League after Wednesday's seventh IPL auction, the biggest and most dramatic yet, which will be held in Bangalore.

The eight IPL teams will be bidding for the 511 players up for auction, and Pietersen is the fourth lot on offer. Given that he has now been released from his international commitments for the foreseeable future, he can play the whole tournament rather than having to return early to face Sri Lanka with England. Thus, Pietersen should command one of the biggest prices, most likely between $2m (£1.21m) and $2.5m.

The auction will be conducted at 4am GMT – 9.30am in Bangalore, televised across India – by Englishman Richard Madley, formerly of Christie's and Antiques Roadshow. For the first time it will not be done in US dollars but in Indian rupees.

The eight sides start with a budget of 600m rupees, equivalent to roughly $10m, double the $5m limit back in 2008. Not all of that will be used at the auction, with some franchises having retained a few players from last season.

Chennai Super Kings, for example, only have 21m rupees ($3.5m) left, having already retained five players, including India captain M S Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin. Mumbai Indians have the same amount left, having retained five, as have Rajasthan Royals. Royal Challengers Bangalore have three big-name batsmen already, in Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and A B de Villiers, so have just 30m rupees ($5m) to spend.

The remaining teams, then, will fight over Pietersen, who is likely to be the highest priced player.

His fame is hugely important to sponsors in a competition where marketing and attention are so important, and his record is impressive – he has the second highest international T20 average of all time, and was man of the series at the 2010 World T20 which England won in the Caribbean. Combined with his seniority and his new availability for the whole tournament, it is easy to see why Pietersen will command the highest price.

The three likeliest destinations for him, according to suggestions in India, are Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab or Sunrisers Hyderabad. Pietersen was not retained by the Delhi coach Gary Kirsten last month but he is still popular there and they have their whole 60m rupees available.

Pietersen cost the Delhi Daredevils $2m when he signed for them in 2012, having initially joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $1.5m in 2009, and he is likely to go beyond those prices this time. Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi even suggested he could cost between $2.5m and $3m, breaking Gautam Gambhir's record price of $2.4m from 2011.

For what it is worth, Pietersen's reserve price is 20m rupees ($300,000), as he is in the top bracket of players, but he will certainly far exceed that. The most expensive other players are likely to be India veterans Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, who have proven over the years just how effective they are in this format.

The first and third players up for auction are two all-time greats of the game: Mahela Jayawardene and Jacques Kallis. Kallis is now a one-day specialist having retired from Test cricket, unlike Pietersen, at a time of his choosing.

Of the 511 players up for auction, 424 are Indian – a remarkable 169 have been capped by India – with 47 capped and 37 uncapped foreigners. Squads must be between 16 and 27 players, with a maximum of nine overseas players, with just four overseas players allowed in an XI for a game. Every franchise must spend at least 36m rupees ($6m) on their squad.

There is English interest beyond Pietersen. Craig Kieswetter will be in the fourth batch of players up for auction, along with South African 21-year-old wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock and Australia's Matthew Wade. Ian Bell and Alex Hales, who have never played in IPL before, are up for auction, with Hales having – at 20m rupees – twice the reserve price of Bell.

Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Samit Patel are also up for auction. Patel has the same reserve price as his Nottinghamshire team-mate Hales. Rikki Clarke, Jade Dernbach and 2005 Ashes veteran Simon Jones are also on the list.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot