Three years after the first Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction changed the face of the game, it is time again for cricket’s biggest names to go under the hammer over the next two days.
With both the Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings XI back in the fray despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s efforts to suspend them, the fourth IPL will have 10 teams competing to buy from among the 353 players up for sale.
For the two new teams, Sahara Pune Warriors and the Kochi franchise, this will be the first auction.
The IPL has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this last year, ever since former commissioner Lalit Modi’s famous tweet that led to former Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s exit from the cabinet and later sparked Modi’s own downfall.
But the IPL fraternity believes the fourth players’ auction, to be held at a five-star hotel in Bangalore on Saturday and Sunday, will once again revive the glamour and mystique of the tournament.
“There was no problem with the IPL brand as such,” B Vanchi, senior director and group advisor of GMR Holdings, owners of Delhi Daredevils, told HT after a meeting of the franchise representatives with IPL officials on Friday. “Every institution has occasional hiccups but when the foundations are strong, it comes out clean.”