Mumbai: Richard Madley will arrive from England for the IPL auction scheduled to take place on 20th February in Bangalore. He will be playing his 10th consecutive innings as an auctioneer.
Speaking exclusively from England, he said, "Compared with the previous auctions this has been the most unsettled. Originally planned for February 4th the date has been changed twice before settling on February 20th – once again in Bangalore – but in a different hotel."
"The mood of the auctions and the tournament has changed since the heady days of the Lalit Modi era – where the combination of glamour, sporting prowess, money and showmanship made the tournament a global hit. People still ask me what it was like to work for in the early years and I say that without him the IPL would not exist and the game would be poorer for it. Lalit gave me the chance to conduct that first auction and I have not looked back. The man is a genius.
"In looking back over 10 years there are many auction highlights, including tied bids of $1.4 million for Kevin Pieterson and Freddie Flintoff, tied bids for Kieron Pollard invoking the tiebreaker, surprise bidding for the unknown Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Bin Mortaza – starting at USD 50,000 and eventually selling for USD 600,000. Gautam Gambir selling for USD 2.4 million but nothing beats selling IPL legend MS Dhoni in the inaugural auction," he said.
"It has not been without its bidding dramas – both involving RCB and concerning disputed bids. The first contested bid was between King’s XI Punjab (Preity Zinta) and RCB (Vijay Mallaya) which I settled immediately. The second concerned a late bid by KKR – again involving RCB. I settled both disputes in a reasonable manner – always mindful that I should be firm, fair – yet friendly," Madley added.
"Everyone talks about IPL One being groundbreaking in 2008 – but do you know who went unsold in that first auction? Chris Gayle! In contrast there have been players bought on Test match reputation in the early auctions who failed to perform.
"I will prepare for the sale in exactly the same way as I have done for the past nine years- working on pronunciation, player profiles and performance. I will brief all the franchisees the evening before the auction and discuss increments, order of the sets and timing. I will take an early morning swim, select my favourite IPL gavel and check the saleroom for vision, audibility and smooth running. I will set a fair pace and not be swayed by the millions of viewers watching worldwide,” Madley further said.
"My role is just like that of an umpire and I want to make the right decisions at the right time and ensure that fair play is adhered too. I’m excited about IPL 10 as I was about the first auction and will I have any nerves? Sure – there’s nothing wrong with feeling nervous before going in to bat – as long as you leave them in the changing room. My nerves will leave me when I walk on stage and I let my gavel do the talking", the auctioneer signed off.