The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has informed the franchises that the IPL mega-auction will be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13.

Sportstar  understands that on Thursday morning, the Board informed the franchises that the full players' list for the auction would be released by the second week of January.

The Board has already written to the international cricket bodies and state units asking them to send the names of the players for the auction by January 17. Most franchises have already started their selection trials, and this being a mega auction, more than 1000 players are expected to enrol.

Several franchise officials confirmed to this publication that the Board has asked them to reach Bengaluru by February 11 as the pre-auction briefing is scheduled in the evening.

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With the Omicron cases spiking in the country, the Board is ‘monitoring’ the situation and all the necessary protocols and other guidelines are expected to be sent to the franchises by the third week of January. “The preparation for the auction is on. The Board is keeping an eye on the COVID situation and will take all necessary measures. The safety of all the stakeholders is paramount,” a Board insider said.

Lucknow and Ahmedabad have become home to two new IPL franchises ahead of the next edition. Before its Annual General Meeting in Kolkata earlier this month, the BCCI had formed an independent panel to investigate the matters related to CVC Capital Partners, which acquired the Ahmedabad franchise. The panel, which features a retired Supreme Court judge, is yet to formally submit its report. But sources in the Board have indicated that CVC is set to get a go-ahead soon. The franchise, it is understood, has already approached quite a few international coaches - a couple of them have coached the Indian team in the past - to be part of the coaching group.

The two new entrants were to pick their three players by December 25, but now the deadline is set to be extended by a few weeks. The eight existing IPL teams had already completed their retention process on November 30.