Mahela among expensive IPL players

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is among the top players commanding the highest prices at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for this year, the Indian media reported.

According to the Indian Express VVS Laxman, S Sreesanth and Brendon McCullum — all part of the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the 2011 IPL — command the highest reserve price of US$ 400,000 in the final auction shortlist for the 2012 season.

The Kochi trio joins England offspinner Graeme Swann, who is yet to feature in the IPL, as the four players to command the maximum base price in the 144-strong list. They will go under the hammer when the players auction for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League is held on February 4.

In all, 16 Kochi players feature in the list including Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (reserve price US$ 300,000) and offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan (US$ 200,000).

Brad Hogg, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Usman Khawaja, Luke Ronchi are among the 16 players from Australia who will be up for sale.

From England, 13 cricketers, including James Anderson, Ian Bell, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara and Chris Tremlett will be up for grabs. South Africa and New Zealand will have 19 and 10 players respectively, while dashing opener Tamim Iqbal will be the lone cricketer from Bangladesh to go under the hammer. Sri Lanka will have as many as 18 cricketers, while West Indies and Zimbabwe will have 16 and seven players respectively in the auction list.

Tom Cooper, who played 18 ODIs will be the sole player from Holland, while O’Brien brothers — Niall and Kevin — from Ireland will also be up for auction, the Indian Express reported.

“The shortlist comprises some outstanding cricket talent. Given that it was prepared on the basis of the feedback of the franchises themselves, the stage is set for an exciting and eventful player auction, this Saturday,” IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said in a statement.

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