Faf sells for R9m in IPL auction

Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Faf du Plessis (Gallo Images)

New Delhi - Indian and New Zealand skippers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Brendon McCullum were drafted for more than $1 million into new cricket teams on Tuesday for the Indian Premier League following a graft scandal.

A new team from the western city of Pune paid $1.8 million for limited overs captain Dhoni for the next edition of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.

Dhoni joins Australian captain Steven Smith who was sold for $820 000 and South African Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis who went for $597 000 (R9m) on the same team.

The other franchise from the western city of Rajkot chose McCullum for $1.1 million, James Faulkner for $820 000 and West Indian Dwayne Bravo for $597 000.

The franchises have replaced Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals - teams banned from the glitzy tournament for two years on the recommendation of a Supreme Court-appointed panel, after a corruption scandal.

They were allowed to choose five stars from each of the banned teams, while the rest were released into a pool for auction.

Australia's Shane Watson and Mike Hussey, South Africa's Chris Morris and the West Indies' Dwayne Smith remain unsold and will now be auctioned in Bangalore in February.

The 2013 IPL season was mired in controversy after police launched legal proceedings against several officials from the teams and three Rajasthan Royals' players for illegal betting and spot-fixing.

Suresh Raina, who played for the Chennai Super Kings alongside Dhoni, fetched $1.8 million from Rajkot which also chose all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

"Excited to play for the beautiful vibrant city- Rajkot in @IPL. Looking forward to have new teammates and support from the people of Gujarat," Raina tweeted.

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin were picked by Pune for $1.37 million and $1.1 million, respectively.

Both Chennai and Rajasthan are expected to return to the IPL after their bans end following the 2017 edition.

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