Kevin Pietersen was the only Englishman bought in the famous Indian Premier League auction this morning as the Delhi Daredevils picked up the star batsman for around £880,000.
The auction threw up many surprises as 10 current or former England players finished Wednesday’s stage without a club. The likes of number two ranked T20 batsman in the world Alex Hales was one of the more high profile casualties along with England stars Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright and Jade Dernbach.
Former England men Dimitri Mascarenhas, Rikki Clarke, Samit Patel and Craig Kieswetter joined 2005 Ashes hero and now freelance cricketer Simon Jones in receiving no bids in Bangalore.
Ian Bell was another big name not to be purchased but with the Warwickshire man not in the England World T20 squad that wasn’t a great surprise, unlike the other T20 specialists.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler decided not to enter the auction to focus on their county form ahead of a hectic summer schedule for their country while Eoin Morgan pulled out on Monday after initially entering.
Pietersen was the real winner and he was the third most expensive player, behind Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik as he joins up with the Daredevils.
He quickly broke the news via his social media platforms by posting on Instagram and Twitter while he posted a picture on his official Facebook page of him in action for Delhi in 2012 with the caption: “Morning - so happy to be back with the Delhi Daredevils! Lovely start to the day...”
It will be the 33-year-old’s second stint with the franchise after he joined them in 2012 and helped them to the latter stages before being knocked out by Chennai Super Kings.
Pietersen also appeared for the club in the Champions League in October 2012 as they reached the semi-final stage of the competition.
The anticipation of the 2014 IPL auction was intensified ever since it was announced Pietersen will no longer play for England, meaning the record breaking batsman is available for the entire schedule which is expected to get under way on 8th April and will end on 30th May.
In total 514 players went under the hammer but it is not all bad news for the unsold players as they will have another opportunity to be tied up to a team in tomorrow’s auction.
The eight IPL franchises will now pick the players they want to be included in tomorrow’s auction as they look to boost their squads with the remaining players.
Each franchise can have a maximum of nine non-Indian players in their squad meaning 24 overseas spots are up for grabs tomorrow and 122 spots in total as each club can have a maximum of 27 players in a squad.
Every franchise will be busy tomorrow and it would be a surprise if the likes of Hales, Wright and Bopara remain unsold in the biggest T20 competition in the world.