Micky Aigner, Suhrid Barua and Salil Kulkarni give an entire picture of how the drama unfolded at the auction of inaugural Maharashtra Premier League
Not many would disagree that the bidding for the dashing Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav stoked maximum excitement at the auction of the inaugural Indian Premier League on Thursday. It was touch-and-go between Sindhudurg Sailors (Dahad Pattern) and Raigad Royals (Cadence, owned by Maharashtra Cricket Association president Ajay Shirke).
The might of Raigad Royals may have seemed insurmountable but Sindhudurg Sailors outbidded them, buying Kedar at Rs 160,000 — the highest bid for any player at the auction.
For a while, Raigad Royals looked to offer a stiff challenge when they made a Rs 145,000 bid for Kedar before Sindhudurg Sailors outsmarted them bidding for Rs 150,000. Raigad Royals then made a strong Rs 155,000 bid before Sindhudurg Sailors won the bidding battle, purchasing Kedar at Rs 160,000 which proved to be the killer blow for Raigad Royals.
Understandably, Reuben Dahad, managing director of Dahad Group - owners of Sindhudurg Sailors, was extremely chuffed with the successful bidding of Kedar, but made it clear that there was no pre-planned move to angle for Maharashtra’s top run-getter in the last Ranj season.
“Kedar is a fabulous batsman, he has got that bellicose streak which makes cut out for the T20 format which is all about the power hitting. But I would like to mention having a Kedar was not a pre-planned ploy. I just went by instinct and go for him,”said Reuben, who played together with Kedar long back.
“I know him well. I have played for Maharashtra u-14 and u-16, I have played with Kedar in the Inter-District Tanpure Trophy at Sangli for Pune District way back in 2003. It's nice to have him with us, we know every money spent on him is well worth it," he recounts.
The Sindhudurg Sailors bigwig knew very well that buying Kedar won’t be a piece of cake. “He is one player every franchisee would like to buy. So, as you saw, our bidding with Raigad Royals was exciting and we finally pipped them at the post,” Reuben wore a look of relief on his face.
What about the upping the bid if Raigad Royals had gone beyond Rs 160,000? “I can’t say for sure whether we would have persisted with our bidding for Kedar if Raigad Royals had upped the bidding above Rs 160,000. It all happened in the moment, I just backed my instincts and went for Kedar, observed Reuben, who also played a spoiler to other fran-chisees’ plans by pulling off a successful bid for another talented State batsmen Ameya Shrikhande (Rs 105,000).
“We want somebody to give us a flying start and somebody to finish things off. I'm confident that both Kedar and Ameya would do the job for us,” he added.