Mumbai Indians have accused the IPL governing council of changing the players’ auction norms of the T20 league for season four in the last minute without reason, resulting in a lack of transparency in the process.
In a letter written to the IPL governing council members, Indiawin Sports Pvt Ltd (ISPL), owners of the Mumbai Indians team, said players were auctioned through a pre-decided order of auction list, as opposed to an initial instruction that they would be arranged into sets and the order for which is to be drawn randomly.
The change in the norm was intimated to the franchisees on January 7, just a day before the auction.
“Any change of auction rules process or procedure in this manner and at the last minute can have any justification if, and only if, strong justifiable emergent reasons can be demonstrated to be present,” the letter said.
“We see a complete absence of such reason or justification,” it added, asking the IPL GC members to explain at whose instance was the change introduced.
The letter said the primary purpose of deciding the order of the auction through random draw in the auction room in the presence of bidders was to ensure transparency and a level playing field to all the franchisees.
Also, it was to ensure that the franchisees were not only privy to the process but were treated in the same manner and no particular team received any preferred treatment, it added.
The letter written by Reliance Industries Executive Director Nikhil R Meshwani on behalf of ISPL, demanded an explanation from the IPL governing council members for the last minute change, besides asking under which body of the IPL authorised the amendment of the auction norms and other details.
The players’ auction held on January 8-9 saw Gautam Gambhir became the costliest cricketer in the IPL by fetching a whopping USD 2.4 million (approx Rs 11.04 crore) on the first day, while formers stars like Sourav Ganguly and Brian Lara found no takers.