IPL Auction took off with Dhoni; battle for Pollard in 2010 saw extraordinary bidding says Richard Madley

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IPL Auction took off with Dhoni; battle for Pollard in 2010 saw extraordinary bidding says Richard Madley

Sold!!!! Richard Madley’s voice is synonymous with the Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction, and with the mega auction just around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect on how the inaugural auction went in 2008 and how the cash-rich league got its start. Richard Madley, an ex-IPL auctioneer, has opened up about what it was like to be a part of the event back in the day.

Madley was in charge of the IPL auctions every season from the league’s start till 2018. Hugh Edmeadas took his spot in the 2019 season. In an interaction with ANI, Madley discussed his thoughts on the IPL, player bidding wars, and what he thought of MS Dhoni being signed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2008.

“When I was first approached to advise on the formatting of the inaugural Player Auction in February 2008, I was providing technical advice on auction law – including the rules and regulations. I had always wanted to visit India but never had the opportunity to do so. Being invited to conduct that first auction gave me the opportunity to see firsthand the passion shown for cricket,” Madley told ANI.

“No one had any idea that in the ballroom of The Oberoi Hilton, Mumbai on February 20th, 2008 that the world of cricket would change forever. The atmosphere was electric in the auction room that day as player after player came under my hammer. Technology limited just 14 years ago and there was no Twitter or Instagram. No one thought of recording me selling MS Dhoni for USD 1.5 million. Mobile phones were banned at the auction but mine didn’t even have a camera,” he added.

Further revealing his memories about the very first IPL auction, Madley said:

“The auction actually started steadily -with Shoaib Akhtar selling to Kolkata and Shane Warne to Jaipur for his base price of USD 450,000. And then out of the bag came a small cricket ball. With the name MS Dhoni- with a base price of USD 400,000 -sparking a bidding war until my hammer dropped at USD 1.5 million to Chennai. The IPL Auction had taken off.”

“The IPL has caught the imagination of the cricket world from Lords to Sydney -and of course throughout India. It action-packed, skilful, exciting, tactical, fast-paced, and fun. It challenges football for skill and entertainment. And it has been running for 14 years and has grown massively. It would now need to expand globally if it is to maintain those growth patterns. The USA next,” he added.

When Madley asked about the most memorable bidding war in the IPL auction. He mentioned how Kieron Pollard stole the hearts of four franchises back in 2010.

“In every auction, there has been one player who has attracted the attention of the whole room. The most extraordinary bidding scenario we ever had was in 2010 when we had a four-way battle between Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore. And Kolkata Knight Riders for KIERON POLLARD. Each franchise then invited to make a secret sealed bid for the player over and above the USD 750k mark. History will tell you that Mumbai Indians were the successful bidders which must go down. As one of the strategically successful bids of all time – underlying Mumbai’s determination to secure their talisman,” said Madley.

The mega auction for the IPL 2022 season will take place in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. Therefore, a total of 590 cricketers will auctioned off. There are 228 capped players, 355 uncapped players. Morever, 7 players from Associate Nations among the 590 players who have registered for the auction.

(With ANI Inputs)

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