The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 12 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

We’ll have to be smart at the table: CEO Venky Mysore
- Auction time
- Strong base of domestic players is KKR’s target

Bangalore: With a purse of Rs 38 crore, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are “ideally” looking to have a “strong base” of domestic cricketers for the next three editions of the IPL.

The auction for edition VII onwards will be held here on Wednesday and Thursday (uncapped players).

So far, KKR have won one edition — in 2012.

“Ideally, we want a strong base of domestic cricketers... However, one never knows how an auction could pan out. But I’m clear about not paying the moon for any one player,” the franchise’s CEO, Venky Mysore, told The Telegraph.

In other words, KKR would largely be looking to “fill the gaps” with foreigners, nine of whom can figure on the rolls of every franchise.

The Calcutta franchise is already down by Rs 22 crore, the amount spent in retaining captain Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine.

[Two of the three franchises which have retained the full quota of five cricketers have ended up with Rs 39 crore less in their kitty.]

By retaining only two, KKR will enter the auction with two Right to Match cards. So, two more could be retained, at the highest bid placed by some other franchise.

Franchises which have retained five players have one Right to Match card, while the Delhi DareDevils, starting afresh, have three such cards.

“We’ve prepared well, now we’ll have to be smart at the table... We’ve been working with SAP, even going through with mock auctions,” Mysore, who has a financial background and came on board after the first three editions of the IPL, pointed out.

“I wouldn’t say I have a dream cricketer in mind, for if you don’t get him, then things can spin out of control,” Mysore added.

Principal owner Shah Rukh Khan, meanwhile, won’t be at the auction. He has been staying away after the early enthusiasm. Besides, he’s recovering from an accident while shooting in Mumbai.

“I’ve briefed SRK... He’s happy with the way we’ve prepared for the auction... I won’t be surprised if Day II, featuring the uncapped players, sees intense bidding,” Mysore signed off.

Young Sanju Samson, incidentally, was first recruited by KKR, but released as the franchise wasn’t able to play him! Now, he’s a Royals’ star.

Perhaps, there’s a lesson there.