Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team may not have delivered as per expectations after being knocked out in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final, but its players received a windfall at the Indian Premier League (IPL) Player Auction in Bangalore.
Barring veteran Wasim Jaffer, Vishal Dabholkar, who was the highest wicket-taker (39) in the Ranji Trophy amongst spinners, and Siddhesh Lad, most of the Mumbai’s Ranji players managed to bag contracts with various IPL teams at the two-day auction.
Medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who fetched the highest price in the auction (Rs 1.10 crore), all-rounder Abhishek Nayar (Rs 1 crore), left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla (Rs 65 lakh) and 42-year-old leg spinner Pravin Tambe (Rs 10 lakh) will join his Mumbai teammate Ajinkya Rahane, who was retained by Rajasthan Royals.
Wicketkeeper-batsmen Aditya Tare and Sushant Marathe were bought back by Mumbai Indians for Rs 1.60 crore and Rs 10 lakh (base price) respectively. Kolkata Knight Riders bought Suryakumar Yadav, who was also with MI, for Rs 70 lakh. Medium pacer Shardul Thakur was bought by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 20 lakh.
Kulkarni, who played only 37 matches for Mumbai Indians from 2008 to 2013, was hoping to get opportunities with Rajasthan Royals.
“I wasn’t worried about the money I would get in the auction. My concern was, wherever I go, I should get opportunities. I am delighted that Rajasthan Royals have bought me. I am confident to get some opportunities there,” Kulkarni said.
Abdulla too was delighted to go to RR after representing Kolkata Knight Riders since 2008.
“It will be a bit of change for me, but I am looking forward to it. There are a lot of youngsters around. There will be so much to learn from Rahul bhai (Dravid),” he said.
Abdulla, however, did not follow the auction when his name was announced. “I switched off the TV and went down for a walk. I am a bit superstitious and was nervous when the bidding was happening,” he said.
Tare said: “It is always nice to be a part of Mumbai Indians. Now, my priority is to get as many games as possible,” he said.
Thakur is keen to buy a car for his father, who works at his farm in Palghar. “He has been riding a two-wheeler for quite some time now. I am hoping to convince him to buy a car.
He did not show his excitement, but he was really delighted after Punjab bought me in the auction,” said Thakur.
Rajasthan Royals may have hit a jackpot in the IPL auction on the final day yesterday as far as veteran Pravin Tambe is concerned. Using the Right to Match card for the 42-year-old leg spinner, RR bought him back at the base price for Rs 10 lakh as there was no other bidder in the fray.
Tambe caught the nation’s eye after his superb performance for RR in the last Champions League T20. The Mulund resident emerged as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, claiming 12 in five matches, at an amazing economy rate of 4.10 that saw him bag CLT20’s Golden Wicket award. Tambe, though was delighted that RR retained him. “I am not bothered about the money. I’m happy with what I get. I’m thrilled that RR used the Right to Match card to get me.
It’s an honour for me. I also wanted to play for RR as they give opportunities,” Tambe, who made his first-class debut for Mumbai this season, told MiD DAY. — HNJ