Chennai, Feb 3(IBNS) Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the most expensive player to be sold at the auction as the Mumbai Indians shelled out a whopping $1 million for him at the Indian Premier League (IPL) players' auction here Sunday.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were the biggest names of the 108 players to go under the hammer.
While Ponting was snapped up by the Mumbai Indians, Clarke was bought back by his last year's franchise, Pune Warriors India. Both the Australians were sold for their base price of $400,000.
Maxwell, a spin-bowling all-rounder, was sold to Mumbai Indian for five times his base price of $200,00 after an aggressive bidding involving Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Ponting, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural season of the IPL, was the first maruquee player to go under the hammer. But none of the teams showed interest in him and he was put in in the unsold category by auctioneer Richard Madley.
But Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani made a late bid for the former Australian captain and Madley allowed the bid.
The next marquee player up for grabs was India-discard 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 all showed interest in the left arm pacer, 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 was the last player in the marquee section and was sold to Pune Warriors, who made the first bid.
Former India skipper Anil Kumble, who is part of the Mumbai franchise, says Maxwell is "an exciting talent, a good kid." KUmble said Ponting will be a great presence in the dressing room.
Ambani said having both Tendulkar and Ponting in the Mumbai team will be great for the youngsters.
Royal Challengers Bangalore bought the most number of players - seven (three Indians and four overseas) - while the new franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad, managed to get six players (one Indian and five overseas).
Australians dominated the auction with as many as 13 of their players sold at the event. Six players each from India and Sri Lanka, five from the West Indies, four South Africans and three New Zealanders found themselves a team during the bidding process.
Out of the 37 players sold, 14 have never played in the IPL before, while 23 will return to the tournament.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the only uncapped player to be bought by the Mumbai Indians.