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Money and IPL teams chase Gilchrist

Agencies

Posted: Feb 19, 2008 at 1046 hrs IST
      

Melbourne, February 19:: As the countdown begins for the IPL players' auction, retiring Adam Gilchrist is tipped to be Australia's highest paid cricketer in the tournament with the Kolkata and Mohali teams showing keen interest to have the wicketkeeper-batsman in their ranks.

Bidding for players for all eight franchisee will be held on Wednesday in Mumbai.

Local media claims Gilchrist could well earn nearly one million Australian dollars in the six-week tournament.

However, IPL's Australia agent Neil Maxwell said he was not sure if Gilchrist would earn one million dollars but confirmed he will have his pockets full with money.

"We don't know. (Gilchrist's) very well-placed. I think he will earn considerable money. I don't think it will be quite a million, may be in Australian dollars he will go close," Maxwell said.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who will lead the Kolkata side, has expressed his desire to have Gilchrist in his team.

"He is definitely a guy we will look for. There are so many good players, and it also depends on the balance of the team," Ganguly was quoted as saying in The Age newspaper on Tuesday.

The co-owner of the Kolkata team, filmstar Shah Rukh Khan, is also known to be keen on Gilchrist.

Because teams are allowed to bid only once for each player during the auction, whichever team goes first is likely to put in a big offer to get Gilchrist.

Tom Moody, coach of the Preity Zinta-co-owned Mohali team, said Gilchrist would be the most sought after player during the bidding.

"Gilchrist would be one that I would like to get. No question, he is an attractive package, given his quality as a player and his quality as a person.

"In the next couple of days, I will be in discussions with the franchise owners and Yuvraj to get his thoughts and ideas," Moody said adding "During the auction, there is no communication allowed - so prep work has to be done prior to that."

Moody said Gilchrist's cricketing abilities were not the only reasons for his growing demand.

"He is a guy that can help bring players together to function as a unit, and that is critical when you are forming a new team with different characters and nationalities. You need good, stable characters," he said.

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