Ben Stokes, Cameron Green headline IPL's 405-strong mini-auction list
World's premier all-rounders Ben Stokes of England and Cameron Green of Australia are set to enjoy bidding frenzy as 405 players will go under the hammer for 87 slots at the IPL mini-auction on December 23 in Kochi.
England's Test captain Stokes and the rising Aussie sensation Green are in the highest base price bracket of Rs 2 crore while former England Test captain Joe Root has also put his name up at Rs 1 crore.
"Out of 405 players, 273 are Indians and 132 are overseas players of which 4 players are from associate nations. The total capped players are 119, uncapped players are 282 and 4 from associate nations. A maximum of 87 slots are now available with up to 30 being slotted for overseas players," BCCI secretary Jay Shah was quoted as saying in a media release.
While Kolkata Knight Riders has the lowest purse available at Rs 7.2 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, with Rs 42.25 crore and 13 spots available, are expected to go on a buying spree after a poor last season.
Another inconsistent team, Punjab Kings are also likely to come out all guns blazing at the mini-auction with Rs 32.20 crore in its kitty. Chennai Super Kings (Rs 20.45 crore), Lucknow Super Giants (Rs 23.35 crore), Mumbai Indians (Rs 20.55 crore), Delhi Capitals (Rs 19.45 crore) and defending champions Gujarat Titans (Rs 19.25 crore) can also go a fair distance for the players they want.
With hard-hitting, pace bowling all-rounders being the need of the hour, Stokes and Green are likely to command anything in the range of Rs 15-17 crore from at least two to three franchises.
With most of the top Indian players already in one team or the other, out-of-favour national team players Mayank Agarwal and Manish Pandey at Rs 1 crore base price will command a fair bit of bidding.
But the same cannot be said about veterans Ishant Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, who have kept their going price at a modest Rs 50 lakh, expecting to get a team or two raise the paddle for them.
One of the players who can cause a bidding war is South African batter Rilee Rossouw, who has been prolific on Indian tracks.
Rising Englishman Harry Brook has kept his base price at Rs 1.5 crore.