It's barely two years since I waxed lyrical on these pages about Ashwell Prince following his attractive 119 in the Sydney Test of 2006. He now has seven Test centuries under his belt, but his Twenty20 stats are almost non-existent.
Prince, otherwise known as Lot 54, failed to attract a bid at his reserve price of $175000. He finished Wednesday's IPL Mumbai Meat Market as the only one of 77 lots (I mean, players) unsold at auction (not including the Yousuf Formerly Known as Youhana who is having contractual difficulties with the ICL).
Today, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the First Test, Prince added one run to his overnight score of 9 before being run out as South Africa went on to trail Bangladesh by 22 runs on the first innings. Here's the card of the South African innings, with bowling from Bangladesh's first innings:
Neil McKenzie (non-IPL) 5,
Graeme Smith (Jaipur, $250K) 10,
Hashim Amla (non-IPL) 25,
Jacques Kallis (Bangalore, $900K) 17,
Ashwell Prince (passed in) 10,
Johan Botha (non-IPL) 25 and 2/57,
AB de Villiers (Delhi, $300K) 46,
Mark Boucher (Bangalore, $450K) 11,
Morne Morkel (non-IPL unlike his brother Albie) 1 and 5/50,
Dale Steyn (Bangalore, $325K) 7 and 3/27,
Makhaya Ntini (Chennai, $200K) 3 and 0/47.
Shahadat Hossain took 6/27 for Bangladesh in South Africa's first innings, but he is not on the IPL payroll. Nor, curiously enough, is anyone from Bangladesh. The BCCI head-hunters, it seems, were not interested.
There's a superb statistical analysis of the auction by Matthew Varghese at CricInfo. Particularly interesting is the following observation:
"Perhaps the most astute move came from Hyderabad: they initially asked that VVS Laxman be named their icon, and then withdrew the request later. It was a brave move: they successfully bid $1,350,000 for Symonds and $700,000 for Gilchrist. Laxman was bought for $375,000, while the young Rohit Sharma was pouched for double that amount. The Hyderabad franchise representatives even indicated that not having Laxman as their icon worked; after all, if he had been one, then a $1.35m bid for Symonds would have made Laxman the highest-earner in the IPL at $1,552,500 million, blowing the team's budget to bits."
If I were VVSL I would be feeling a tad dudded.