India’s temperamental fast bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth was happy to be a part of his home team as the Kochi franchise bought him for $900,000 during the players’ auction for Indian Premier League (IPL) season four here Saturday.
“Thanks a lot for ur support and wishes..gr8 to be in home team..kochi,” Sreesanth tweeted.
Sreesanth had a base price of $200,000 and Deccan Chargers were the first to show interest in him. Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils were engaged in a small tussle over the fast bowler, who has been in fine form in the Test series in South Africa.
The contest continued for three minutes and as his value touched $850,000, Kochi owners jumped in the fray and bought him for $950,000.
Kings XI Punjab, who had bought Sreesanth for $625,000 at the first auction, didn’t show any interest in the fast bowler.
Kochi’s coach Geoff Lawson said they took Sreesanth purely on the basis of his current performance and not because he is a local boy.
“Sreesanth has been in a great form in South Africa. He is a brilliant bowler and has done well for India. He is a valuable player, he will be a great role model for the team,” said the Australian, adding the franchise will come out with a team name shortly.
Besides, Sreesanth, the Kochi team also bought V.V.S. Laxman ($400,000), Rudra Pratap Singh ($500,000), Mahela Jayawardene ($1.5 million) and Brendon McCullum ($475,000).
Lawson, a former Pakistan coach, said the franchise will try to make the most of the remaining $5.225 million left in their purse.
“We have got some good ideas. We have bought three Indians so far and we are fairly happy. Things get unpredictable during the auction, but we are trying to make the most of what we have. We still have some money left in the bank,” said Lawson.
“We all are excited. I am very happy to be a part of IPL. This will be great for the people of Kerala,” he said.