The Indian Premier League (IPL) rule of five icon cricketers receiving 15 per cent more than the costliest player in their franchise will not exist from this season onwards.
This would mean that players like Kevin Pietersen (at $1,350,000), Michael Clarke (at $1,000,000) and Andrew Flintoff (at $950,000) could now earn more than the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly. In short, marquee cricketers might simply end up losing the price-tag battle against foreigners who will now be in the fray.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to five of its cricketers to be a part of the IPL auction to be held in Goa on February 6.
This move comes in the backdrop of the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan post the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks. The players requested that their names be included in the auction list, the PCB had no problems, and the IPL governing council obliged.
The IPL council wasn’t told specifically not to include Pakistan cricketers in the list and therefore their names have been added to the list. Only if the franchisees are willing to buy them will these players be allowed to come to India for the 44-day tournament.
Asim Kamal (reserve price $25,000), Yasir Hameed ($25,000), Danish Kaneria ($100,000) and Yasir Arafat ($75,000) are the Pak players in the list. Mohammad Hafeez is the fifth cricketer from there but the only one who has officially signed a three-year contract with the IPL.
It should be noted that the franchise owners had expressed strict reservations about Pakistani players in the squad and had separately admitted to the TOI of their plans to terminate those contracts. It will come as a major surprise if any of these five cricketers, available for next month’s auction, will be entertained by the team owners now.
A total of 114 cricketers will be available for the auctions with Pietersen’s reserve price making him the costliest player on sale.