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IPL snub for Anderson, Swann

England bowlers fail to land contracts on day one of auction

Anderson (right) and Swann: Ashes winners but no IPL deals yet

England duo James Anderson and Graeme Swann were overlooked on the opening day of the Indian Premier League auction, although four of their countrymen were snapped up, including a cut-price deal for Kevin Pietersen.

The Deccan Chargers paid US$ 650,000 (£418,000) for Pietersen's services, although that sum represented a significant drop in his price after the South African-born right-hander was purchased for a then-record $1.6million in in 2009.

Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan and Twenty20 skipper Paul Collingwood will join Pietersen at the fourth edition of the tournament, which is due to begin in early April.

Broad earned his first IPL pay-day after the Kings XI Punjab paid $400,000. Morgan, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for $350,000 while former Delhi Daredevil Collingwood was signed by Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals for $250,000.

But the biggest shocks came in the non-selections of Ashes winners Swann and Anderson who have established themselves as two of the world's best bowlers in recent years.

Also missing out were World Twenty20 winner Luke Wright and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who while not a first-choice in England's Twenty20 team had been expected to earn some interest for his hard-hitting style.

Limited

English players were not expected to fetch the big money this year, due once again to their reduced availability because of calendar clashes, but the reluctance of the IPL franchises to sign them came as a surprise.

This year's IPL is set to begin in early April and run into May when England's players are due to begin their preparations for the Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on May 26 in Cardiff.

England team director Andy Flower had indicted he wanted his players to play at least one first-class game before then, but given Test regulars Pietersen and Broad were both selected, while Morgan is likely to be called up in place of the retired Collingwood, the snubs for Swann and Anderson are slightly mysterious.

Swann, the world's top ranked spinner, was quickly overlooked at his base price of 400,000 by all franchises before they immediately set about a bidding frenzy for unheralded Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who eventually joined the Kings XI Punjab for 900,000.

The English players were not the only notable names to be snubbed, however, with former West Indies skipper Chris Gayle unsold along with Sourav Ganguly, Jesse Ryder, Herschelle Gibbs and Brian Lara, who signed up despite having not played international cricket since 2007.

The Kolkata Knight Riders made the most significant impact on the first of the two days of the auction after they began the day by breaking the record fee for Indian opener Gautam Gambhir.