The auctions, scheduled in Bengaluru, may spill over to the next day if the franchisees are unable to fill their slots.
There are several firsts to the 2014 edition of the IPL which begins in April. For the first time, every team which has not retained any of its earlier players will get Rs 60 crore each. Also, the bidding will be done in rupees, not US dollars as earlier. For an international cricketer, the maximum base price is Rs 2 crore while the minimum is Rs 10 lakh.
Also, the rules have introduced a new concept called right to match, which means that a team like Delhi Daredevils, which has not retained any past players, can take any player won in auctions by a rival team provided they match the winning bid from their kitty. Delhi Daredevils will get a maximum of three chances under the right to match rules while a minimum of one chance is with other IPL franchisees.
With the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid last year, these legends will not figure in in IPL-7.
Experts expect aggressive bidding for players like Kevin Pietersen (England), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Quinton de Kock (South Africa), Corey Anderson (New Zealand), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) and local favourites Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.
Of the 511 players, 305 are from India while 163 are spread between Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and England. The balance hopefuls are from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Netherlands and Ireland.
Only Delhi Daredevils will be able to utilise its full Rs 60 crore for auctions as it did not retain any existing player; the balance IPL franchisees will have less funds to bid during the auctions. This is because they retained between one and five players from last year.
Chennai Super Kings, an IPL franchisee facing charges of fixing, betting and the direct involvement of its promoter, has the smallest budget of R21 crore as it retained the maximum five players as permitted in the rules.
Delhi Daredevils, however, with R60 crore in its pocket, is looking for a new team while Kings XI Punjab (R43.5 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (R38 crore) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (R38 crore) have the next bigger purses among the eight IPL teams, retaining only one or two players from the earlier squad.
As per the new rules, every team will have seven Indian players (both capped and uncapped) and can have a maximum of four foreign players in the playing eleven. However, as a team only nine overseas players can be picked by a franchisee.
IPL, over the years, has been in the news for both cricket and non-cricket activities. Last year, there were nine teams. In 2012, the tally of teams had touched 10. With the cancellation of licence of Pune Warriors last year and Kochi Tuskars in 2012-13, IPL-7 is now down to its original line-up of only eight playing teams.
Host broadcaster Sony Six will bring the auctions live. According to Prasana Krishnan, Sony Six business head, this years auction will probably be one of the biggest as all teams were looking for a major revamp.