Akhtar, Afridi and Gibbs on sale in IPL trading window

When the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) trading window opens on Tuesday, three top players will be up for grabs as their franchises have listed them under ‘available to trade’ (ATT) category.

According to sources, Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi, and South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs are the three names doing the rounds.

Shoaib made a sensational start to his IPL campaign for Kolkata Knight Riders against Delhi Daredevils before fading away. Though, the temperamental fast bowler is yet to sign the IPL consent form, sources say that KKR is holding talks with Akhtar’s agent.

“KKR already have two match-winning bowlers in Umar Gul and Ajantha Mendis (the latter was mostly sitting on the sidelines in the inaugural season). The rules clearly allow only four foreign recruits in the playing eleven. So where is the place for the third foreign bowler?” the source added.

Afridi, who is with Team Hyderabad, may also see a change of team. “Call it his lack of performance or off-field controversies, Afridi is being considered for trading. But the question is who is going to buy him? We heard that Mumbai Indians may show some interest in Afridi,” another source informed.

The first list of players for trading is scheduled to be submitted on Monday. The second and third lists are supposed to be submitted on January 5 and 12 respectively.

The IPL window is divided into two parts – ‘available to trade’ and ‘expression of interest’. The first is meant for submitting names of those players who have signed the consent form while the second is about franchisees putting their player wish-list on paper.

Some of the franchisees are relieved that they are able to talk to each other before the transfer happens. “It’s going to be interesting. If we want Yusuf Pathan in our team, we can directly talk to the owners and express our wish to trade him and vice versa,” a team owner told TOI.

“We don’t want the agents to get into this trading business. When the trading happens, we want every deal to be transparent,” a top IPL official added.

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