IPL: Bidding war set to begin tomorrow

Chennai: As another season of Indian Premier League is fast-approaching, it’s that time of the year when the think-tanks of all the eight franchises indulge in a bidding war to pick players. The IPL auction is all set to begin at Kokata tomorrow.

As many as 332 players will be put under the hammer and with only 73 slots to be filled, teams will be vying to fill the vacant slots and one can expect an intense bidding battle.

This is the first time that an auction will be held at Kolkata and despite the ongoing protests over the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the city, it will go ahead as expected. This year’s auction is the last one before the mega auction next year where the franchises will be able to retain only three players.

Balance money

While the franchises are allotted Rs 85 crore each, three crore more than what was offered last year, every franchise will have an additional purse of Rs 3 crore in addition to the balance in their kitties from the last auction. Kings XI Punjab, as expected will have the highest balance of Rs 42.70 crore and Kokata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore follow with Rs 35.65 crore and Rs 27.90 crore available in their kitty respectively. Defending champions Mumbai Indians and last year’s runner up Chennai Super Kings have the least balance available with 13.05 crores and 14.06 crores available respectively.

What the teams need

Franchises like Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad are expected to be the silent spectators as they have retained their core squad. They only need a couple of replacements to complete their whole squad. However, teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab have release many players and will need to revamp of their squad and they are expected to make a lot of noise at the auctions.

Base price of players

Seven players have listed their base price in the highest bracket of Rs 2 crore bracket. They are Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Dale Steyn and Angelo Mathews. Like last year no Indians feature in this list. Robin Uthappa is the only Indian player in the auction list with a base price of 1.5 crore. Other Indian stars, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan and Jaydev Unadkat have set their base price at 1 crore.

Unlike last year, where the availability of some players for the whole season was cut short due World Cup, this season most of the players will be available for the entire edition and teams will look to utilise their services.

Watch out for

Chris Lynn

Having been a mainstay for Kolkata Knight Riders for many years now, Chriss Lynn’s release came as a surprise to many. Despite not playing for Australia, Lynn is lighting up T20 leagues across the World and has even hit a 91 off just 30 balls in the recently concluded T10 league. He is expected to attract a lot of teams and is definitely the one to watch out for.

Shimron Hetmyer

The 21-year old West Indian didn’t enjoy a great IPL last season with Royal Challengers Bangalore, but he is a dangerous batsmen, who is a threat to the bowlers when he is on song and given his success with the bat for West Indies in India, he will once again be the cynosure of all eyes at the auction.

Sheldon Cottrell

Well known for his famous salute celebration after picking up a wicket, Cottrell is an entertainer and the left arm fast bowler is also a wicket-taker and having enjoyed tremendous success with the West Indies in recent times. Teams will be vying to pick him.

Eoin Morgan

The World Cup winning skipper can pose a serious threat to any bowling attack and also given his captaincy credentials he can be a good asset to any team that picks him.

Aaditya Anand M