England duo in record bids
Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff have fetched top dollar in the Indian Premier League auction.
Last Updated: 13/02/09 3:38pm
England stars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff have been bought for record figures in the Indian Premier League auction.
Chennai Super Kings have bought Flintoff for $1.55million (£1.058m) while Bangalore Royal Challengers paid an identical sum for Pietersen.
"We were very keen on Pietersen and I'm glad I got him at the price I paid," said Royal Challengers team owner Vijay Malaya.
"He is a superb addition to the team and I, of course, would love him to play for six weeks rather than three."
Asked if Pietersen would lead the team, Mallya added: "The captaincy slot is open, but a decision will be made after a discussion.
"Pietersen will be with us for three weeks and that is something we have to take into consideration."
N Srinivasan of the Chennai Super Kings was pleased with the acquisition of Flintoff.
He said: "He is an outstanding all-rounder and will improve the balance of the team."
Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata bid ferociously for Owais Shah, with the Daredevils snapping up the England batsman for $275,000 while Paul Collingwood joins his team-mate for a similar sum.
And there was also "fierce bidding" for Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who was finally sold to Kings XI Punjab for $450,000.
And the Kings XI co-owner Priety Zinta believes Bopara will suit their plans.
"He is a great player and an all-rounder and we wanted such a player," said Zinta.
"We think he would be perfect for Kings XI Punjab and we think we are happy we got what we wanted."
However Sussex batsman Luke Wright and Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel remained unsold - and must wait to see if they are picked up as replacements.
Commissioner Lalit Modi said: "There are only limited slots, there are 50 players and you cannot expect to have all the players sold.
"The teams have strategies and they normally put in a lot more players so that they get the other teams to bid for them in the hope of upsetting their plan."
Elsewhere in the auction, Mumbai Indians bought South Africa's rising star JP Duminy for $950,000 while Rajasthan Royals purchased Shaun Tait for $375,000.