Veteran IPL auctioneer Richard Madley has recently revealed how Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bought former India captain, MS Dhoni, in the IPL 2008 auction. Dhoni, who had just led India to the T20 World Cup title in 2007, was the hottest property at that time. Madley, who was present as the auctioneer, recalled the incident at the auction that took place on February 20.
In a conversation with Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube channel, Richard Madley said: “I remember the second player coming out of the bag that day was Shane Warne. I thought okay here’s Warnie and this will be interesting, his base price was I think around 400000 US dollars. That’s what he sold for at his base price to Rajasthan Royals and I thought at that time that was a smart move. It’s a smart move because at the end of hs career but someone remarkably successful, experienced, charismatic and who was a leader. They bought Shane Warne and what did Rajasthan Royals do in IPL one, they won it.”
Richard Madley further added: “For the next 10 years, I watched Rajasthan Royals be the coolest bidders in the room. They never got excited, Manoj Badale was just cool and a pattern started to emerge. Then out of the bag came the man himself, the ultimate all-rounder Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and there we saw the first bidding war of many in the IPL auctions.”
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Meanwhile, MS Dhoni didn’t have a home team and Chennai decided not to pick any famous players rather than him, although Mumbai Indians too bid for him as well. While USD 1.65 million was allotted to Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni got USD 1.5 million. Richard Madley also shared a funny incident when he was asked about sharing the room with Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan.
He added: “On one of the tables called Kolkata and an interesting crowd sitting on the table there and after the auction a journalist came up to me and asked how did it feel to be in the room with Shahrukh Khan. Who is Shahrukh Khan I inquired. Honestly, i didn’t know. The world of Bollywood was a completely new to me. I think that’s a good thing because had I suddenly thought, “Oh my goodness, me, I am in the company Indian royalty, there are Bollywood stars, there are people who are mult-billionaires,” it would have got to me. But I didn’t and I treated them all equal.”
While talking about the difference between IPL auctions and other auctions, Richard Madley stated that the auctioneer gets a fixed pay in IPL.
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“The principal difference between conducting IPL auctions as against any of the thousands of auctions is that first of all I have no incentive to drive the prices upwards. I am not financially incentivized in the IPL auctions to take the price up. I am paid an appearance fee. But normally, an auctioneer is incentivized on commission so he is trying to drive the prices up whereas in the case of IPL the auctioneer’s role is to distribute the players fairly around the teams,” he continued.
“It is in nobody’s interests apart from the players for the prices to go up. Listen, the players have never given me a penny. Freddie Flintoff bought me a drink. He is the only player in the history of the IPL to buy me a beer and said thank you very much. Ben Stokes offered to buy me a cup of tea at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival two years ago, that is all i have ever received from those cricketers who I have made millionaires,” Richard Madley concluded.