Calcutta: The aspersions cast over the Indian Premier League (IPL) by Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report and the uncertainty surrounding the venue of this year’s tournament because of the general elections will hold very little consequence as 514 players — 219 of them uncapped — will go under the hammer in Bangalore, on Wednesday and Thursday.
Though players of proven credentials like Jacques Kallis, Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Yuvraj Singh are in the fray, indications are that the teams might opt for the young and talented rather than those in the twilight of their careers.
New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson is the most talked about player whose recent exploits have projected him as a “hot pick”.
The 23-year-old blitzed the fastest ODI hundred weeks before the IPL VII auction, and since then no one’s stopped asking him how much he thinks he’ll be bought for on February 12.
“Can’t say I am ignoring it, the way it keeps coming up,” Anderson said recently. “At some stage you are going to yield to itů I am excited about it.”
Anderson has a base price of Rs 1 crore and chances are that he might end up being a millionaire. He has been slotted at No. 83 in the 10th set which has the second array of international all-rounders.
The slotting of Anderson at 83 will mean that there will be a ‘bidding war’ for the Black Caps all-rounder as some of the teams with higher salary caps like Delhi DareDevils will have to face the might of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Pietersen, whose England days seem to be over, will also attract much attention from the eight franchises along with South African Quinton de Kock and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
Among the Indians, Yuvraj, who has a base price of Rs 2 crore, will be much sought after.
Mohammed Shami, who wasn’t retained by Kolkata Knight Riders, will also be a hot buy after his recent exploits with the national team.
Knight Riders’ chief executive Venky Mysore had indicated during the recent team trials in Calcutta that they would know by the end of the auction whether they had committed a mistake by not retaining him.
The eight teams were allowed to retain a maximum of five players, something that only the Super Kings, the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals opted for. The DareDevils preferred to release its entire squad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore preferred to retain three as against two each by Kings XI Punjab, the Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The Knight Riders retained captain Gautam Gambhir and off-spinner Sunil Narine.
This is the first IPL auction where the bidding will be done in Indian rupees with a total of Rs.274.50 crore available across eight teams. Uncapped Indian players will be making their debut at the auction.
The 514-strong list features 219 capped players (169 Indians and 50 overseas players) and 295 uncapped players. There are also three players from associate nations, namely Niall and Kevin O’Brien from Ireland and Netherlands’ Ryan Ten Doeschate.
The newly-introduced concept of Right to Match or ‘joker’ card will also make the auction interesting.
This allows a franchise to buy back a player who was part of its 2013 squad by simply matching the price at which that player is sold.
The franchises have a varying number of Right to Match cards going into the auction, depending on the number of players they retained.
Once the auctioneer has determined that there are no further bids for a player, he will declare the player sold.
He will then ask the franchise the player belonged to in 2013 whether they wish to buy him back using a Right to Match card.
If they do, then they will get the player back for the final bid made in the auction and no further bidding is possible.