The Indian Premier League (IPL) seems to have created an order of its own. An order that doesn’t necessarily follow the international trend of who’s hot and who’s not in world cricket.
For instance, the fact that Adam Gilchrist, Anil Kumble, Brett Lee and Brian Lara are not part of international cricket anymore has nothing to do with how much they are sought after in the IPL. In this T20 money-spinner these former giants still command a base price of $400,000 at the auction – as high as it gets in the coveted list of close to 415 cricketers.
As against that, no matter how popular Sourav Ganguly is among the Indian cricket fans, he’s still available at a base price of just $200,000 – half of what Kumble or even Rahul Dravid command.
When the mega player auctions takes place in Bangalore on January 8 and 9, the ones writing the cheques will give an apt presentation of how exactly the last three years of IPL have made the buyers more conscious in spending cash in return for quality. Contrary to what Gilchrist and Lara command, capped international players – despite the fact that they still happen to represent their respective nations in world cricket – don’t necessarily boast of a handsome base price. Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera comes as cheap as $20,000, West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are available for $50,000, South African Paul Harris is priced at the same amount while Australians and Indians like Ben Hilfenhaus, Xavier Doherty, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Parthiv Patel just a notch higher at $100,00.
Only 12 cricketers have been retained by franchisees under the player retention rule out of which Mumbai Indians (two foreigners) and Chennai Super Kings (one foreigner) have held back a total of eight players. Rajasthan Royals have retained two foreigners while Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils have retained one Indian player each. This means, all franchisees put together have the space and capacity to buy a total of 95 overseas players out of a total list that has only 49 Indians. “Most franchisees didn’t retain players simply because retaining them was proving to be costlier than trying to buy them through the auction once again.
Believe me, franchisees sitting with a total of $9m in the auction will have a far more buying capacity towards the end and there will be enough options,” says a franchise owner. “Expect some hectic bidding this time because the purse is also bigger,” says another franchise owner.
Top Players Available
India: Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra.
Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, Brett Lee, Michael Hussey, David Warner, Dirk Nannes.
England: Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior.
Sri Lanka: T Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis.
South Africa: Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn.
West Indies: Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Brian Lara.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor.