Following the sensational victory of Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL season, virtually every team is now ready to go down the same path.
The Royals spent the least when it came to buying the franchise; ditto while buying the players too. And then, captain-cum-coach Shane Warne weaved his magic and created a fine, confident unit.
In the 2009 auction, franchises will be looking to do the same, although part of it might be forced because of the current scenario. The financial crunch at the moment should mean teams will be looking to spend as little as possible, unless their team composition forces them to do something else. In a way, it also helps that they can seek replacements for the unavailable Pakistani players.
Those teams which had Pakistani players are most likely to sit back at the auction and keep a tab on players who will not go under the hammer. From among those players, or even uncapped names available from Australia’s KFC Cup or South Africa’s Twenty20 circuit, the franchises will then settle to pick what could be the best possible replacements.
“There’s no rush unless you want a big name from the auction,” said an official. “Rajasthan’s exact gameplan is something that most teams are studying and trying to understand. There is absolutely no reason why teams wouldn’t want to emulate them,” he said.
Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers might not be willing to talk about the money spent but insiders do agree that the likes of David Warner, Moises Henriques and Ryan Harris – popular names in the Australian domestic circuit — have been bought at reasonable prices for a one-year contract.