IPL Auction 2017: Why a Chris Woakes is confident enough to mark himself at Rs. 2 crores while somebody like Colin Munro who scored the second fastest T20I half-century in 14 balls last year, could set his base price at just Rs. 50 lakhs?
On 20th February 2017, 351 of world’s finest cricketers will go under the hammer at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bengaluru. The list contains 122 overseas and 23 Indian international players while 229 uncapped players will also be hoping to bag a good deal. There is a lot of buzz around the England all-rounder Ben Stokes who has set a base price of Rs. 2 crore for himself. However, what’s baffling for some fans is that Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews who went unsold last year has also put himself in the top bracket while former Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who went unsold at Rs. 1.5 crores in 2016 is going to the auction at the same price once again.
On the other hand, Pawan Negi who was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs. 8.50 crores last year making him the most expensive Indian player of the auction ahead of Yuvraj Singh, has marked himself at just Rs. 30 lakhs, which even less than the base price of Afghanistan’s Mohammad nabi marked at Rs. 50 lakh. So, what is it that make these players decide their base price? Why a Chris Woakes is confident enough to mark himself at Rs. 2 crores while somebody like Colin Munro who scored the second fastest T20I half-century in 14 balls last year, could set his base price at just Rs. 50 lakhs?
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Actually, there are a number of factors that contribute to it. Starting with the utility of the player and where he fits in the team. Teams will be willing to splash money on Ben Stokes because he can contribute in all the departments but the same can’t be set for Chris Woakes. The second thing which is more important for the overseas players is that if they are missing the domestic competition to play in the IPL, they have to pay compensation to their clubs. For example, Ben Stokes is set to lose 100,000 from his contract if he plays this season so marking himself for a base price less than this doesn’t make any sense as he’ll end up paying more than what he’ll earn.
The next thing that team owners keep in mind is the age of the players. Both Pravin Tambe (45) and Bradd Hogg (46) are proven performers and are likely to be picked this year as well but have marked themselves at Rs. 10 lakhs and Rs. 30 lakhs respectively because they know that the franchises won’t be willing to spend too much amount on these players given the uncertainty around their future.
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Also, in an auction like this where most of the teams have their core ready and are likely to find that final pieces of the puzzle, setting a very high price could mean that the player might remain unsold. However, the things will be different in 2018 when most players will go back to the auctions and the teams will be formed from the beginning. All these numbers and strategies that are discussed behind the doors show us that not just the game and players but also the owners have evolved with time.