Reputations counted for little as former India captain Sourav Ganguly and several other big names found no takers for the fourth edition of the IPL even as unheralded Australian Daniel Christian was bought for an astounding $900,000 (RS 4.14 crore apprx) on the second day of the auction in Bangalore on Sunday.
Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya also failed to find a buyer today joining a high-profile list of unsold players which included among others West Indies batting great Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Mark Boucher and Graeme Swann.
Ganguly's name, in fact, did not even come up in the second round of bidding, the players for which were handpicked by the franchises, prompting angry fans to stage protests against his former team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Bengal capital.
A total of 241 of the 353 players in fray went unsold in the first round of auctions, which spanned over two days. 28 players came up for a re-auctioning on the request of the franchises but again some of them strangely went unsold.
New Zealand's hard-hitting batsman Jesse Ryder (Pune, $150,000), spinner Murali Karthik (Pune, $400,000) and Mohammad Kaif (Bangalore, $130,000) were among the lucky 12 who managed to sneak through into the cash-rich event.
At the end of the two-day auction all the franchises still had some money left from the USD nine million cap on a rather dull second day considering that Gautam Gambhir had gone for a record Rs 11.04 crore to KKR on the first day.
In a relatively low-key day, it was Christian who hogged the limelight as he was bought by Deccan 18 times more than his base price of $50,000.
No one could have even imagined that the 27-year-old from New South Wales will go for such a high price. He has played just three Twenty20 internationals for Australia and is primarily a fast bowler who can hit a long way in the lower order.
"We believe Dan Christian is a good buy. He is good fast bowler and a decent batsman. He is also a brilliant fielder," Deccan Chargers owner Gayathri Reddy said.
Delhi Daredevils were the biggest gainers as they snapped up fringe fast bowlers. Umesh Yadav, who had a base price of $50,000, went for a whopping $750,000, while pacers Ashok Dinda ($375,000) and Ajit Agarkar ($210,000) were bought by Delhi Daredevils.
Munaf Patel was bought by Mumbai Indians for $700,000 (apprx Rs 3.1 crore).
Ranganath Vinay Kumar was bought by Kochi for $475,000 while Manpreet Gony was bought by Deccan for $290,000.
However, paceman VRV Singh was a prominent Indian player who went unsold. Chennai Super Kings, who have been on a retention mode, also got back Sudeep Tyagi ($240,000), Joginder Sharma ($150,000) while roping in Suraj Randiv for as cheap as $80,000.
However, it was Kolkata Knight Riders who poached L Balaji from CSK for $500,000. KKR retained Jaidev Unadkat buying him for $250,000.
There were a few surprises also as unfancied Netherlands cricketer Ryan ten Doeschate was bought for $150,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Doeschate was ICC's Associate Player of the Year.
Another surprising move was India discard Venugopal Rao getting a staggering deal of $700,000 (Rs 3.22 crore) from Delhi Daredevils.
Sahara Pune Warriors, who remained quiet for the better part of the first session, got a good deal in South African pacer Wayne Parnell ($160,000) and West Indian Jerome Taylor ($100,000).
There was some stiff bidding between Pune and Kings XI Punjab for Australian Mitchell Marsh. However, the junior-most Marsh will play for Pune under his father Geoff Marsh's tutelage rather than being a team-mate of his elder brother Shaun.
Michael Yardy of England, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills of New Zealand, Ravi Bopara, Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan of England and Fervez Mahroof of Sri Lanka, Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies, Makhaya Ntini and Lonwabo Tsotsobe of South Africa were among the prominent players who went unsold.
Gambhir had on Saturday become the costliest cricketer in the IPL by fetching a whopping $2.4 million (Rs 11.04 crore) on the first day of the auctions where Indian players proved to be the biggest draw with three others going for more than $2 million.
In a high-profile auction, Kolkata Knight Riders bought Gambhir for the mind-boggling sum, beating the previous high set by the English duo of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff ($1.55 million) last season.