Contrary to expectations, Australia captain Michael Clarke and the legendary Ricky Ponting could secure only their base price of $400,000 each when picked up by Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians, respectively, in the players' auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
Ponting, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural season of the IPL, was the first player to go under the hammer.
None of the teams showed interest in him and he was put in the unsold category by auctioneer Richard Madley. But Mumbai Indians made a late bid for the former Australian captain and Madley allowed the bid as none showed interest in the 38-year-old cricketer, who retired from international cricket last year.
The next player to go under the hammer was pacer Rudra Pratap Singh, who was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $400,000, four times his base price. Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad were also interested in the India discard, who was the highest wicket-taker in the second edition in 2009.
The third marquee player South African all-rounder Johan Botha, who went to Rajasthan last year for $950,000, was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $450,000 after an aggressive bidding-match with Pune. Botha had a base price of $300,000.
Clarke, who was the last player in the marquee section, was sold to his old team Pune Warriors for $400,000. The Warriors were the first to bid for the Australian captain and with no no other bids they bought him back for much less that what they had spent last season.