Twenty four hours ahead of Indian Premier League’s third auction, Lalit Modi upped the momentum by dishing out a series of news-breaking items on his Twitter page.
Out of the IPL honcho’s tweets rolled out the floor prices for the entire list of 67 cricketers – India’s Mohammad Kaif added on last count – and the pools under which they’ve been listed.
Each franchise will have a maximum of only $750,000 at its disposal for buying new players, who will be contracted only for the 2010 season.
Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Australia’s Brad Haddin and England’s Graeme Swann are going to be the costliest players with the trio commanding a base price of $250,000.
West Indian Kieron Pollard, who set the 2009 Champions League on fire, is priced at $200,000 alongside England’s Eoin Morgan, South Africa’s Wayne Parnell, Australia’s Doug Bollinger and Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir.
New Zealander Shane Bond, Kaif and West Indian Kemar Roach come next at a base price of $100,000 along with the rest.
IPL boss Lalit Modi revealed the base prices of 67 players on the auction list for IPL-3, with Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi taking the pride of place.
Though no official release on the inclusion or exclusion of players was forthcoming till late in the evening, Modi told newspersons in Mumbai that Ricky Ponting (Kolkata Knight Riders), Nathan Bracken (Royal Challengers) and Mohammad Kaif (Rajasthan Royals) could be included in the list.
However, Kaif was the only one to be included in the auction list. Modi tweeted that “all teams are free to buy out any player by 11.59am tomorrow (Tuesday).”
In all, according to Modi, there are 12 slots left for teams to buy players though individual slots weren’t officially declared. The talk surrounding the tie-breaker rule has raised many eyebrows among franchisees. TOI has learnt that more than two franchisees are only interested in picking West Indies’ Kieron Pollard and have indicated that they would be willing to spend the entire purse of $750,000 on him alone.
In such a scenario, if there is a tie-breaker, the option, according to a franchise official, is: “Each franchise will have to write the extra amount they’re willing to spend on the cricketer on a piece of paper and the franchise with the highest will be allowed to buy Pollard.” The extra amount – anything more than the stipulated $750,000 – will go to the IPL kitty.
This is being called the ‘silent tiebreaker’. A couple of franchise owners are reportedly miffed at these last minute changes in the IPL rules. “Most of the franchisees do not like the idea and have objected to the proposal on the basic principle that the sanctity of the purse must be protected,” a franchise official was quoted as saying on a website.
However, it is learnt, that the demand for Pollard is such that a tie-breaker could be unavoidable. Among other sought after cricketers, Philip Hughes – with a T20 average of 54 – and England off-spinner Graeme Swann are the other favourites. Modi said: “(The tiebreaker rule) is part of the 2010 IPL auction rules. So anyone not agreeing is a non-issue.”
The auction will be held at a five-star hotel in suburban Mumbai and once again renowned antiques auctioneer Richard Madley will take care of the proceedings.
Those under the hammer include 11 players each from Pakistan, Australia and SA, nine from Sri Lanka, eight each from England and West Indies, four from New Zealand and one each from Bangladesh, Canada, Zimbabwe and Holland.
LIKELY TOP-10 MOST WANTED: 1. Kieron Pollard (West Indies), 2. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), 3. Umar Akmal (Pakistan), 4. Wayne Parnell (South Africa), 5. Umar Gul (Pakistan), 6. Eoin Morgan (England), 7. Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh), 8. Mohammad Aamer (Pakistan), 9. Phillip Hughes (Australia), 10. Graeme Swann (England).