The previous record was held by Indian captian Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was taken by Chennai in the 2008 auction. His transfer fee amounted to $1.5 million. Flintoff and Pietersen's fees shall be paid as salary but on a pro rata basis as the duo can only play for three weeks and not the six weeks equivalent of a season.
Aside from the two sought after English players whos ability to turn a game around can change the fortunes of the teams they play in and ignite the crowd, the other English cricketers who were taken were Ravi Bopara who went to Kings XI Punjab for $450,000, Owais Shah was taken for $375,000 and Paul Collingwood got $275,000. Both have joned Delhi. All of the English cricketers who were taken in have to pay 10% of their share of their auction price to their counties that they play for in the County Championships for releasing them for the first season.
Bangalore's owner Vijay Mallya said that he was willing to pay more in order to obtain Pietersen's services, calling it a worthwhile investment. He even hinted that since the role of captain is still open in the team, Pietersen is being considered to lead the Royal Challengers. N. Srinavasan, the secretary of the Indian Cricket Board and owns the Chennai Super Kings, was happy with his new recruit, Flintoff, calling him one of the best all rounders in the business.
English players failed to get involved in the auction last year due to international commitments and once again shall be limited to half of t he IPL season due to its home test series versus the West Indies this coming April and May. The IPL starts on the 10 of April to May 29. Next to the English duo, South African all-rounder JP Duminy was taken for $950,000 to the Mumbai Indians, with his price greater than three times the original fee. Fellow South African Tyron Henderson got six times more than his value when the Rajasthan Royals shelled out $650,000 for him.
For Australia, Australian batsman Michael Clarke would have also been earning a high wage as his price tag was at $1 million. But he withdrew from the auction citing the need for rest in preparation for a busy year for the Australian Cricket Team. Included in the team's schedule is a Test series against South Africa, the Ashes series and the Twenty20 World Cup. Australian paceman Saun Tait went to the Rajasthan Royals for $375,000 and shall be reunited with former Australian teammate Shane Warne. George Bailey was the other Australian sold for $50,000 to Chennai.
Contracts that were handed out are all for two seasons, instead of three. Critics rationalized that Flintoff and Pietersen's absence from the IPL auction last year worked in their behalf this year to earn so much more, the reason behind was that the abundance of talent that was up for sale last year.