17 players to strike it rich at auction
With a total of $13.59 million in their pocket, eight Indian Premier League franchisees will buy 17 players from a pool of 50 when the second edition of the players' auction gets under way on Friday.
Spelling out the details of the auction, IPL Chairman Lalit Modi on Thursday revealed plans about extending the franchisees' catchment areas to neighbouring countries and announced that the one-over Eliminator would replace the bowl-out to determine the outcome of a tied match.
Among other things, Modi said franchisees affected by the Pakistan government's decision to bar its players from the second IPL could rope in replacements once the auction is over.
Accordingly, Kolkata Knight Riders can bring in Umar Gul's replacement, Bangalore Royal Challengers can recruit another to substitute Misbah-ul-Haq while Rajasthan Royals can draft in a couple to make up for the absence of Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal.
Modi also ruled out mid-season replacements this time.
"In tomorrow's auction, 18 players from Australia, seven from England, five from Sri Lanka, three from New Zealand, seven from South Africa, six from West Indies and four from Bangladesh would be up for grabs. This time 17 slots are available and a total of $13.59 could be spent tomorrow," Modi told reporters.
Modi said the IPL governing council has obtained no-objection certificates from England and Wales Cricket Board and asserted most foreign players would be available for the major part of the event starting on April 10.
"We have successfully negotiated with the ECB and the English players would be available for the first three weeks.
"Among others, players from New Zealand, Sri Lanka and most of the West Indians would be available for the entire duration. The South Africans would be available only after the first week, while Australians are yet to confirm," Modi said.
He said Kolkata Knight Riders has decided to shift some matches to Cuttack while the Rajasthan Royals would have a few games in Ahmedabad.
"We have left it to the franchisees to take the call. If they want, they can have all the matches in their new catchment areas or none at all.
"We are also trying to expand the catchment territory to the neighbouring countries, subject to approval from other boards. For instance, the Knight Riders can have some matches in Bangladesh, the Chennai Super Kings in Sri Lanka and the King's XI Punjab in Pakistan. Whether it's possible or not is a million dollar question but this is our long-term plan to expand the base," he said.
Introducing the one-over Eliminator rule, Modi said, "The ICC gave us two options — one-over Eliminator or bowl-out and we opted for the Eliminator."