At the end of the IPL, it was hard to decide. Who had profited more – Tyron Henderson or Mashrafe Mortaza.
Tyron Henderson is South African by birth who relocated to England in search of greener pastures. His efforts, at thirty-four years of age, came more prominently to light last year when England held its own domestic Twenty20 where Middlesex won the eventual competition.
Ty, as he is known amongst mates, is a useful all rounder who can bowl variations and hits the ball really well. A great asset, at least in the limited editions of the game, Henderson could not break into the South African ranks and now into the England team. But that though has not stopped teams from gunning for him.
Perhaps the fact that the Rajasthan Royals franchisee Emerging Media is England based, they had an easier talent spotting ability that some of the other franchisees missed. Yet Henderson’s bidding really took on new hues as his base price of US$ 100,000 raised significantly after the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers got behind the act of getting him into their squad and a handy addition he would have been there. But the Rajasthan Royals were not about to give him up easy, finally scaling the Charger’s final bid of US $600,00 to US $650,000, making Henderson suddenly one of the most internationally unknown players to make it big in the IPL.
The case was slightly different for Mashrafe Mortaza, the fast bowler who can pack a punch with the bat as well. While Bangladesh and Sri Lankan players were largely ignored, Mortaza was always on the radar for the Kolkata Knight Riders who wanted to exploit his nations’ proximity to Bengal, which is their catchment area.
The Shah Rukh Khan-Jai Mehta-Juhi Chawla nexus that runs the Red Chillies Entertainment that own the Knight Riders though did not expect a hot bid from Preity Zinta- Ness Wadia’s Kings XI Punjab. What started out as a feeble bid starting at US $50,000 (the lowest by some distance), turned into an all out frenzy as the auctioneer had a tough time dealing with frantic bids upped only in the 1000’s in every move.
The longer the bid, longer did the Knight Riders team comprising coach John Buchanan mulled over the auction. Eventually the restless franchisees caused even the auctioneer to push for a decision. Phone calls back and forth as Ness consulted Punjab coach Tom Moody later, Mortaza finally went to the Knight Riders for a whopping US $ 600,000, an astounding purchase in an astounding auction action that brought the latter half of the auction alive.