Says a source, "Salman was so confident of winning the bid that he had even planned a celebratory party on Sunday night for which he'd called people over." Invites to the party went out on Saturday itself.
Even Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor bid for the Pune team, but Sahara Adventure Sports Group snapped up the city as the highest bidder with $370 million (Rs 1,702 crore). Kerala-based consortium Rendezvous Sports bid $333.33 million (Rs 1,333.33 crore) to get Kochi as the other franchisee to make the IPL a 10-team affair from 2011.
Interestingly, Katrina Kaif was also there but she was not bidding with Salman. In fact, she was representing the Adani Group from Ahmedabad which was bidding for Pune as well. Sources close to the actor are surprised that his bid didn't make the cut, "Salman is very upset and is trying to figure out what happened overnight when he lost the winning bid. He had flown into Chennai in a private aircraft. He was very confident till Saturday night about winning the bid. And is wondering if there was foul play by vested interests. Namely to do with star who owns a team."
Katrina Kaif was also present at the bidding process in Chennai yesterday, raised a commotion when she left with Salman, even though they arrived separately. She clarifies, "I wasn't bidding with Salman. I accompanied Reshma who is my close friend. Reshma (from Matrix) and I had gone to represent Matrix who put in a bid with the Adani Group. I was not bidding at all. Salman had put in a separate bid."
Salman remained unavailable for comment.