Plenty to ponder for franchises as Pink City gears up for IPL auction

Uncertainty over the venue and unavailability of a majority of international players for the complete duration of the Indian Premier League due to World Cup commitments are some of the factors the franchises will be keeping in mind when they bid for players at the IPL auction in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Chennai Super Kings, the defending champion, has retained the most number of players and can accommodate only two more Indians at the auctions in Jaipur tomorrow.   -  Vivek Bendre

Eight franchises will step into the ball room at a plush city hotel here on Tuesday for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, hoping to do some smart bidding and acquire some utility players.

In a relatively simple affair, the franchises need to fill in just 70 slots — 50 Indians and 20 foreigners — from a pool of 350 players and for most of them, it will be about filling the gaps. Chennai Super Kings, the defending champion, has the least amount of salary cap available — Rs 8.40 crore — and can only accommodate two Indian players.

Kings XI Punjab, which has released most of its players, has 15 slots to fill, the maximum among the franchises. The franchise has the fattest purse of Rs 36.20 crore at its disposal.

Capped players

Base Price

Indians

Overseas

Total

Top Players

₹ 2 crore

0

10

10

Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Lasith Malinga, Shaun Marsh, Colin Ingram, Sam Curran, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, D’Arcy Short, Eoin Morgan.

₹ 1.5 crore

1

9

10

Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.

₹ 1 crore

4 (Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Wriddhiman Saha)

15

19

JP Duminy, Hashim Amla, Adam Zampa, Ben Laughlin

₹ 75 lakh

2 (Ishant Sharma, Naman Ojha)

16

18

Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, James Neeshan, Kusal Perera, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons.

₹ 50 lakh

18

44

62

 

Uncapped players

Base price

Indians

Overseas

Total

₹ 40 lakh

0

7

7

₹ 30 lakh

5

3

8

₹ 20 lakh

196

17

213

Even then, making the right choices won’t be easy. With the World Cup scheduled to begin from May 30, most of the overseas players will leave the tournament mid-way to join their respective national teams. That has put the franchises in a fix.

Prioritising national duty

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), via an internal communique to the franchises, have informed that the England players will return home on April 25 to join a camp, the South African players will need to report for their camp by May 10 and Bangladesh players need to head home by April 15.

It is much worse for the Australian players, who will check in late — after their series against Pakistan in March — and will leave by April 23.

In such a scenario, the players from New Zealand and West Indies could fetch big money as they would be available throughout the tournament.

“We need to be very careful about players we choose. For all the franchises, the primary objective will be to ensure that the players are available at least for the larger chunk. That would be the major criteria for selection,” one of the franchise officials said.

Mitchell Starc has decided not to compete in IPL next year due to national commitments.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

 

With big names like Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Jason Roy and Liam Plunkett deciding not to take part in IPL next year to focus on their international commitments, the auction, which will be held in the Pink City for the first time, has already lost a bit of its sheen in terms of the marquee players.

Expectations and concerns

A total of nine capped players have listed themselves at the maximum base price of Rs 2 crore. The list includes Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who was part of the Mumbai Indians coaching staff last season, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, D’Arcy Short, Corey Anderson, Sam Curran, Shaun Marsh, Angelo Mathews and Colin Ingram. But with indifferent form and not much of face value, some of the names may not be worth the money for the franchises.

At Rs 1.5 crore, South Africans — Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel — are also available, but with injury concerns hovering over them, would the franchises be interested to take the risk?

Jaydev Unadkat has the maximum base price (₹1.5 crore) among Indians who will be part of the auction tomorrow.   -  K.V.S. Giri

  As far as the Indians are concerned, Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat — who was roped in by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping Rs. 11.5 crore last season — has a base price of Rs 1.5 crore, which is the highest among Indians. He is followed by Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel at Rs. 1 crore. Ishant Sharma is also up for grabs at a starting bid of Rs. 75 lakh.

Besides availability, there is another major concern haunting the auction. The franchises still have no clear idea about where the tournament will be held.

Venue dilemma

With India’s general elections scheduled for next year, the BCCI is yet to decide on whether to shift the entire tournament abroad or keep it in two phases — like the 2014 edition where the first leg was played in the UAE and was later brought back to India. “We are just making wild guesses about the venue and most of the franchises are keeping all the options open. But the thing is, you need specific players for specific environment. So, if you don’t know where you will be playing, you are taking a big risk,” a senior official of an IPL outfit said.

Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals will have the toughest choices to make. While franchises like Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals have retained their core group, both Delhi and Punjab have let go most of their big buys from last season. And now with only a few top guns up for grabs in the auction, they need to come up with a solid strategy to ensure that they pick the suitable men who would strengthen the team for the month and a half-long tournament.

On the eve of the auctions, representatives of all the teams were briefed about the event.

In a departure from the norm, the auctions will start in the afternoon, at 3 pm, with a new gavel master, Hugh Edmeades, beginning the proceedings.