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Against the backdrop of match fixing and betting allegations, a total of 511 cricket players from 11 countries will go under the hammer on Wednesday at the players’ auction for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 extravaganza. The eight IPL team managements have a combined shopping budget of around Rs 275 crore to pick from a mix of seasoned cricketers and young guns.
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