At IPL players’ auction on Monday franchises to complete squads

Bengaluru, Feb 19: A total of 357 cricketers, including 130 from abroad, will go under the hammer in the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction to be held here on Monday. The pool comprises 62 batsmen, 117 bowlers, 148 all-rounders and 30 wicket-keepers.

As many as 227 uncapped players are waiting to make their debut this edition inclusive of five players from Afghanistan — Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad bi, Mohammad Shahzad, Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan.

Delhi Daredevils (Rs 23.1 crore balance purse), Kings XI Punjab (Rs 23.35 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (Rs 19.75 crore), defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (Rs 20.9 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (Rs 17.8 crore), Rising Pune Supergiants (Rs 17.5 crore), Gujarat Lions (Rs 14.35 crore) and Mumbai Indians (Rs 11.5 crore) are expected to buy smartly to complete their squads.

Seven marquee players — Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Angelo Mathews, Patrick Cummins, Mitchell Johnson, Ishant Sharma and Chris Woakes — have the highest reserve price of Rs 2 crore whereas 15 players fall under the reserve price of Rs 1-1.5 crore.

Stokes, Morgan and Woakes were crucial members of the English team which lost the 2016 World Twenty20 fil to the West Indies.

Mathews featured in Kolkata Knight Riders, now-disbanded Pune Warriors India, and Delhi Daredevils in earlier IPL editions. While playing for Pune and Delhi, the all-rounder had been auctioned for more than Rs 5 crore.

It will be interesting to see how the franchisees react when Johnson’s me comes up. The left-armer has retired from intertiol cricket and even though he has enough IPL experience, Rs 2 crore is seen as too high a tag for him.

Ishant, who played for Rising Pune Supergiants, will also look to prove that he can be good enough in the shorter formats as well as Tests.

Among the players who are in the Rs 1.5 crore bracket, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult, English wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow and West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder can be interesting picks for the franchises.

New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, English bowling all-rounder Chris Joran and Irfan Pathan will also be on focus.

Among the Indians, batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, left-arm tweaker Pragyan Ojha, seamer Irfan Pathan, paceman thu Singh, Manoj Tiwari, Karn Sharma, Varun Aaron and Rahul Sharma will hope strong bidding for them.

Ahead of the auction, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (COA) has made it clear that board Vice Presidents C. K. Khan, Amitabh Choudhary, Anirudh Chaudhry and any other persons who claim to be ex-officio members of the IPL Governing Council on account of being office-bearers of the BCCI shall not be entitled to attend the auction.

“In respect of other members of the IPL GC, only those persons who are not disqualified in terms of the strict understanding/ interpretation of the disqualifications in terms of the various orders issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court may attend the IPL Player Auctions,” a statement read. IANS