Dhoni top in IPL auction
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni has topped the bidding at the Indian Premier League's player auction.
Last Updated: 21/02/08 11:04am
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Australia's Andrew Symonds have topped the bidding at the Indian Premier League's player auction on Wednesday.
Chennai paid $1.5million (£772,000) for India's one-day captain, while all-rounder Symonds has been signed by Hyderabad for $1.35million (£695,000).
Sri Lanka all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya was the third most expensive player, with Kolkata forking out $975,000 (£502,000) for his services.
Indian pair Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan cost Mohali a combined fee of 1.875 million (£965,000), with Australia paceman Brett Lee (£463,000) and Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene also joined the franchise.
IPL chairman Lalit Modi said: "I haven't had the opportunity to really judge player value before, but some of the players have gone so well, while some have gone for much less than I expected.
"Players like MS Dhoni and Andrew Symonds were bid aggressively for by all the tables.
"I must tell the Australian public and the Australian media, like I promised, Andrew Symonds was always going to be."
Bangalore signed South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis for $900,000 (£463,000) and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for $450,000 (£232,000), while retiring Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist went for $700,000 (£360,000) to Hyderabad.
Hyderabad also captured RP Singh for $875,000 (£451,000), South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs and Pakistan spinner Shahid Afridi for $575,000 (£296,000) and $675,000 (£348,000) respectively, while New Zealand's Scott Styris cost them just $175,000 (£90,000).
Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (£309,000) will team up with Dhoni at Chennai, along with South African all-rounder Albie Morkel (£327,000), while legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne was bought by Jaipur for $450,000 (£232,000).
Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock fetched £283,000 from Mumbai and India spinner Harbhajan Singh went for £438,000.
Kolkata's acquisitions included Pakistan seamer Shoaib Akhtar (£219,000), Australia skipper Ricky Ponting (£206,000), New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman Brendon McCullum (£360,000) and West Indies captain Chris Gayle (£412,000).
Each of the eight franchises had a total of $5million (£2.574million) to bid at the auction in Mumbai.