Jadeja hits IPL jackpot, England players ignored

NEW DELHI Sat Feb 4, 2012 2:06pm GMT

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja fetched a bid worth more than $2 million (1 million pounds), the highest in Saturday's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, while there was no taker for frontline England players.

Less than 24 hours after Jadeja's man-of-the-match performance in India's Twenty20 victory over Australia, Deccan had a fierce bidding war with IPL's Chennai franchise matching their $2 million offer.

The stalemate resulted in secret bidding and Chennai secured the 23-year-old all-rounder's service for an undisclosed amount.

Only two other cricketers - Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene ($1.4 million, Delhi) and Indian pace bowler R Vinay Kumar ($1 million, Bangalore) - fetched a million dollars or more in the auction in Bangalore.

England cricketers James Anderson, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara were not among the 25 players, out of 144, who invited bids.

Kevin Pietersen is expected to play some part in the league, having completed his transfer from Deccan to Delhi.

Of the nine existing teams, Pune skipped the auction after its owners Sahara Group announced it was pulling out.

Mumbai had a hectic day, adding Indian pace bowler RP Singh ($600,000), Sri Lankan Thisara Perera ($650,000), Australian Mitchell Johnson ($300,000) and South African Robin Peterson ($100,000) to their bowling unit.

Kolkata secured the services of hard-hitting New Zealander Brendon McCullum ($900,000) and West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine ($700,000).

"Around $11 million was spent by the franchises during the auction and it was fair and transparent. I don't think of of the franchises have any complaint," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

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