Flamboyant all-rounder Yuvraj Singh was the surprise recipient of a windfall at the IPL players' auction, fetching a record bid of Rs 14 crore from the Royal Challengers Bangalore while Dinesh Karthik also clinched a mind-boggling Rs 12.5 crore purse from Delhi Daredevils here today.
Both Yuvraj and Karthik, who are not even regular members of the Indian team, triggered stunning bidding wars among the franchises to set a new record in earnings in the cash-rich league. They surpassed the Rs 11.04 crore that was bid on Gautam Gambhir in 2011, the highest till now.
Controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose England career came to an abrupt end after a disastrous Ashes campaign earlier this month, fetched a huge Rs 9 crore purse, bought by Delhi Daredevils, the franchise he played for last season.
Upcoming New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who scored the fastest ODI century smashing a 36-ball ton to breach the record set by Shahid Afridi in 1996, expectedly got a decent package of Rs 4.5 crore with the Mumbai Indians though there was strong buzz of him emerging as the highest paid from this auction.
Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson (Rs 6.5 crore, Kings XI Punjab), all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (Rs 6 crore, Kings XI Punjab), Indian opener Murali Vijay (Rs 5 crore, Delhi Daredevils), South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (Rs 5.5 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders), Robin Uthappa (Rs 5 crore, KKR), West Indian batsman Dwayne Smith (Rs 4.5 crore, Chennai Super Kings), Amit Mishra (Rs 4.25 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Aaron Finch (Rs 4 crore, SRH) were some of the players who triggered intense bidding in the auction.
"It's a grand affair and every edition IPL has grown bigger. The seventh edition would be no exception, it will be grander and more entertaining for fans and franchises," IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal said before the start of the star-studded auction where Bollywood actors and business tycoons were present.
Actress Preity Zinta, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, Juhi Chawla, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, businessman Vijay Mallya, Nita Ambani (Mumbai Indians), cricketers Rahul Dravid (Rajasthan Royals), Anil Kumble (Mumbai Indians) were among the celebrities present at the auction which was beamed live.
Highlights of IPL 7 auctioned players:
* Murli Vijay - India (Base price: Rs 3 crore) sold to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 5 crore
* Kevin Pietersen - England (Base price: Rs 2 crore) retained by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 9 crore
Yuvraj Singh - India (Base price: