Dubai, 09 December: The second half of the biggest cricket player auction ever seen in the Middle East region saw several last minute surprises on Monday. At the Grand Midwest Hotel, of the 250 players who featured in the pool, around 100 international cricketers were purchased by the franchises for the inaugural edition of the 2016 Masters Champions League.
The exciting second half of the auction saw rival bidding for players who are still active in the game as they attempted to spend the US$750,000 purse available per franchisee. The final tally revealed that the sides spent close to US$ 4.2 million dollars on one day.
The auction saw continuous action to the very end with striking bids done, including that of South African T20 batting star Richard Levi who started with a base amount of US$20,000, but finally went for a whopping price of US$152,000.
In 2012, Levi had entered the record books after he smashed an unbeaten 117 off 45 balls against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton. This was then the fastest-ever Twenty20 International hundred, and has since been bettered by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. The innings also set saw a new record for number of sixes (13) in a T20 International innings. At 27, Levi is one of the youngest players to feature in the league as his prowess in the format showed in the way the franchises bid for him furiously.
Most of franchises showed that they were keen to plump for current performing players showing an awareness of the need of the Twenty20 format. English batsmen Michael Carberry (US$42,000) and Michael Lumb (US$80,000), former Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor (US$70,000) who featured in this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup, were the other beneficiaries of the informed bidding wars during the day.
Sharing her thoughts on the occasion, Zarah Shah, MCL CEO, said “We are very pleased and impressed with the final turnout from the action. It was fascinating to see each team pit its plans and tactics against the other six, in what turned out to be a very eventful auction. Based on today’s excitement, we have no doubt that the tournament itself will be as exciting and memorable in the coming year.”
Final list of squads
Capricorn Commanders: Michael Vaughan, Abdul Razzaq, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Symonds, Chamara Silva, Ashwell Prince, Upul Chandana, Ryan McLaren, Jeetan Patel, Rikki Clarke, Rory Kleinveldt, Ben Laughlin, Rizwan Cheema, Geraint Jones, Sunil Joshi, Saleem Elahi.
Gemini Arabians: Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kyle Mills, Saqlain Mushtaq, Jacques Rudolph, Naved-ul-Hasan, Justin Kemp, Paul Harris, Brad Hodge, Richard Levi, Ashish Bagai, Graham Onions, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Saqib Ali.
Libra Legends: Sourav Ganguly, Graeme Swann, Jacques Kallis, Brad Hogg, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ajay Ratra, Chris Read, Sean Ervine, Shaun Tait, Ryan Sidebottom, Michael Lumb, Marcus North, Taufeeq Umar, Nicky Boje, Ian Butler.
Leo Lions: Heath Streak, Scott Styris, Brian Lara, Herschelle Gibbs, Brendan Taylor, James Franklin, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Fidel Edwards, Mohammad Tauqir, Neil Carter, Hamish Marshall, Kyle Jarvis, Ramesh Powar, Simon Jones, Darren Gough.
Sagittarius Soldiers: Mahela Jayawardene, Daniel Vettori, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Bond, Khurram Khan, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Nathan Hauritz, Alviro Petersen, Michael Carberry, Krishmar Santokie, Jonathan Trott, Yasir Hameed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Gavin Hamilton.
Virgo Super Kings: Graeme Smith, Azhar Mahmood, Brett Lee, Jonty Rhodes, Neil McKenzie, John Mooney, Dirk Nannes, Owais Shah, James Foster, Murali Kartik, Malinga Bandara, Gareth Batty, Hasan Raza, Jacob Oram, Humayun Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf.