Published: April 26, 2009
Tamim Iqbal stealing the show with a whopping Tk 7.70 lakh price.
Amid colours, deafening sounds and nonstop flashing of lights, auction of 48 cricketers for the country’s first-ever Twenty20 tournament, the PCL (Port City Cricket League) 2009, was held yesterday at Chittagong Club auditorium with dashing Tigers opener and local boy Tamim Iqbal stealing the show with a whopping Tk 7.70 lakh price.
The nine-day tournament is scheduled to begin at the MA Aziz Stadium on May 2 and the final will be held on May 10.
The one-and-half hour gripping auction got off with a buzz when Ormaan Rafay Nizam, an experienced international tea auctioneer, pronounced the name of one of the two most highly-rated (Category A+) players — Tamim — at the very outset at around 11.40am.
Representatives from Chittagong Mohammedan, Chittagong Brothers and Chittagong Abahani confronted in the first bidding of the day for around three minutes before Abahani finally got hold of Tamim for Tk 7.70 lakh against his base price of Tk 30,000.
For the aggressive left-hander, Mohammedan offered Tk 1.30 lakh while Brothers ended their bid on Tk 7.00 lakh.
“I’m really surprised. My expectation was Tk 2 lakh,” said a visibly amazed Tamim in his instant reaction.
“I want to thank the organisers who have taken the initiatives to arrange this kind of tournament which will encourage the young players. Others can learn from the Chittagong organisers. I am really delighted that I can play a Twenty20 tournament before the World T20. Right at the moment I am only thinking about the T20 World Cup [in England in June],” he added.
With Tamim opening the floodgates to the auction, the concourse was expecting similar battle of bidding to follow as far as price was concerned. But what happened afterwards surprised many as none of the 47 remaining cricketers could even breathe close to Tamim, albeit there was several intense bidding involving few stars.
The next best price was Tk 1.70 lakh for Dhaka Mohammedan all-rounder Sohrawordi Shuvo against his base price of Tk 20,000 and Pirates of Chittagong, a team of Continental Group in the PCL, bought him by beating another business group’s (MEB Group) team Dada Warriors after a two-minute breathtaking battle. Dada breathed last at Tk 1.60 lakh for Shuvo.
Tamim and Shuvo apart, only two more cricketers were able to take their value beyond six digits — Zunaed Siddiqui of Surjo Torun and Abdur Razzak of Partex. Dada Warriors this time conquered Zunaed, whose base price was Tk 20,000, for Tk 1.31 lakh in a three-minute bidding overpowering Brothers who went upto Tk 1.21 lakh for him. However, Brothers didn’t hesitate to buy national left-arm spinner Razzak, the only other Category A+ player with base price of Tk 30 thousand after Tamim, for Tk 1.10 lakh defeating Dhaka Sports Tigers of Laxmipur, who offered Tk 1.00 lakh.
The ‘value’ or ‘fate’ of some well-known faces, who have vast experience of playing Test and ODIs, appeared as a stunning feature in the auction. The likes of Rajin Saleh (Surjo Torun), Javed Omar (Bangladesh Biman), Nazmul Hossain (Abahani) and Rubel Hossain (Gazi Tank) had to wait until the second round of bidding as they remained ‘unsold’ in the first!
Rajin was later sold for Tk 21,000, just six thousand taka up from his base price, to Dhaka Sports. Chittagong Mohammedan came forward to buy Javed at his base price of Tk 8,000 while Nazmul and Rubel were also sold at their base prices, Tk 20,000, and both of them went to Dada Warriors.
Among other stars Syed Rasel, Talha Jubair, Taposh Ghosh, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shahadat Hossain made very poor impression in the auction as none of the eight participating teams showed that much interest in them as far as money was concerned! They were however sold out in quick time with a very low price.
Shahadat and Mushfiqur took only 23 seconds each, Rasel 18 seconds, Talha 29 seconds and Tapas 15 seconds to be sold out to their respective teams — Dada Warriors (Tk 30,000), Ispahani (Tk 26,000), Abahani (Tk 26,000 and Tk 15,000) and Dhaka Sports (Tk 8,000) respectively.
Officials of all eight participating teams — Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting Club, Chittagong Brothers Union, Chittagong Abahani Ltd, Ispahani Ltd, Dada Warriors, Top Sports, Dhaka Sports Tigers and Pirates of Chittagong — were present at the auction venue.
Chittagong Divisional Commissioner and president of Chittagong Divisional Krira Sangstha, which is organising the event, MAN Siddique formally inaugurated the auction.
Lawmaker and Chittagong Abahani president Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury, Deputy Commissioner Fariduddin Ahmed Chowdhury, PCL Organising Committee Chairman AZM Nasiruddin, chief coordinator and BCB member Sirajuddin Md Alamgir, vice-president Ali Abbas and satellite TV channel ATN Bangla’s head of programme Nowajesh Ali Khan were present at the auction.