Time is a reminder of one’s standing, and nobody knows that better than Yuvraj Singh. A year ago, he was sought after by the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, so much so that the auction had to be suspended to clear the confusion when KKR raised their card just when Vijay Mallya thought he had closed the deal.
The auction resumed, and after some fierce bidding Yuvraj was bought for a staggering Rs 14 crore by RCB — almost a quarter of their spending cap.
Eyes on him
With time, Yuvraj fell out of favour with the Indian selectors, his franchise and is now seeking a new address in the IPL. A year after the whopping deal, Yuvraj is back in the mix. All eyes will be on him when the IPL auction starts on Monday. It will be interesting to learn the price Yuvraj commands, and who is willing to provide the flamboyant left-hander with a new address.
Another name that will demand a staggering price is Kevin Pietersen’s. A freelance cricketer after his international retirement, Pietersen is in the auction for a different reason.
Along with his 12 Delhi Daredevils teammates, including Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Ross Taylor and Wayne Parnell, Pietersen was off-loaded by the franchise following the disastrous performance last year.
Yuvraj and Pietersen will be on the radar of at least three-four franchises. Unlike the last auction, this year has a condensed list. Though domestic players add to the numbers, it will primarily be three franchises in action.
After ridding themselves of 13 key players, the Daredevils will be scanning the list to make a new team with Rs 40 crore in their kitty.
Similarly, Sunrisers Hyderabad offloaded 10 players, including Irfan Pathan, Darren Sammy Aaron Finch and Amit Mishra, and will rebuild with Rs 21-crore budget.
Royal Challengers too have released seven players who were either too expensive or not performing. They have a purse of Rs 21 crore at their disposal.
Mumbai Indians, who had released Zaheer Khan, Michael Hussey, Praveen Kumar and Pragyan Ojha along with six other players, are poised to downsize rather than going in for major buys.
Whether the four can still attract the buyers’ interest will be interesting to note.
Most of the other franchises had sorted out their squads in the last auction, and will have fewer options from a relatively small pool of players.