England fast bowler Jofra Archer was signed by Mumbai Indians for Rs 8 crore at the IPL mega auction in Bengaluru on February 13. He was part of the accelerated bidding process which happens from player number 161.

RR and MI began the bidding war, with the price quickly going past Rs 6 crore. Sunrisers Hyderabad made a late appearance but Mumbai eventually acquired his services at Rs 8 crore.

Archer, who had listed his base price at Rs 2 crore, was a late entry into the auction pool. He was part of the set of 44 new players that the 10 franchises had asked the IPL to add to the final shortlist of 590 players (later updated to 600).

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In the email sent to franchises earlier this month, the IPL chief operating officer Hemang Amin had said that Archer would be part of the accelerated set of players, which will commence from Player No. 161.

Availability a concern

Amin also said the ECB had made it clear that Archer was "unlikely" to play in IPL 2022 and if any franchise picks him and he doesn't turn up, they would not be able to get a replacement.

So, that puts the franchises in a spot.

With the England and Wales Cricket Board planning a June return for the fast bowler, there are chances that Jofra will be a regular in the Test squad, once he is fit. In that case, the franchises are apprehensive of his availability even in the current three-year cycle, given England's busy international calendar.

"The ECB has registered Jofra Archer for the auction with a view to potential participation in 2023 and 2024, as due to his current injury it is unlikely that he can participate in IPL 2022," Amin had informed the franchises earlier.

"Therefore, his name has been included in the auction list, but he won't feature in the marquee or other sets to be presented. He will be available to be called during the accelerated auction and whoever picks him will not get a replacement player for IPL 2022 season for his place as he is already injured and unlikely to participate in IPL 2022 season."