Auctioneer Richard Madley is getting back to life amongst Wiltshire’s antique auctions after directing the multi-million-dollar sale of cricket players for the Indian Premier League.

Mr Madley, 53, from Biddestone, has become a regular fixture at the auction in Mumbai.

A wicketkeeper for Lacock 2nd XI, Mr Madely was thrilled to be invited back for a fourth time by the IPL.

He said: “It’s quite an exhausting experience but great to be a part of it. I was on stage for two days in hot Indian conditions.

“It’s like the Test cricket of auctioneering rather than Twenty20.”

The IPL auction is where the 10 franchise teams get to spend up to $9m on players to build their roster for the next two seasons of the Twenty20 tournament.

This year Mr Madley sold Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir for a world record price of $2.4m despite the reserve price being set at a low $200,000.

Known by locals as the ‘hammer-man’ Mr Madley found himself swamped by locals as he made his way to the airport after the auction.

He said: “I was delayed reaching the airport because people were stopping me to ask for my autograph and to have pictures taken.

“The IPL really takes over the country. Everyone was glued to the auction.

“Indians love two things– cricket and Bollywood and with so many Bollywood stars owning teams it brings them both together.”

Stars such as Shilpa Shetty and Shah Rukh Khan rub shoulders with rival owners like Vijay Mallya who also owns the Force India F1 team.

England’s players were surprisingly overlooked with Ashes heroes James Anderson and Graeme Swann going unsold and Kevin Pietersen going for $650,000 instead of the $1.55 million of last time.

Mr Madley said: “I think the England players priced themselves a bit too high with their reserve prices.

“The clever players like Gambhir gave themselves very low reserves which encouraged the bidding.

“Swann would have been fantastic in the IPL but his reserve price of $400,000 may have been a bit too high.

“The England players are required to be back in England to prepare for the summer’s Test series against Sri Lanka so IPL teams could end up losing their best players before the quarter-final stage.”