Some things just don't make sense about the Indian Premier League's supposedly major auction, coming up on February six in sunny Goa.
Straight off, that they have 111 foreign players (Fidel Edwards is even up twice!) on that auction list.
As the rules are clear --- any team is allowed only 10 foreigners per team and most are pretty close to that quota already (from last year's IPL), it simply isn't logical to have an auction with 100-plus options.
As one franchisee official put it, "We're unlikely to see more than 10-12 players actually being bought, if that. Where is the space?"
In the months since the IPL, most teams have also had time to figure out their requirements and needs and have acted on those to figure out the balance they need.
Everyone is pretty sure of whether they need a speedster or a lone opener or even that they don't really need anyone.
And then there's that little matter of a $2million cap on spending at this auction. In this age of the slowdown, why spend money that you could save for a rainy day?
Still, the big draws really are the former English skippers, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, priced at $1.35 million and $950,000 respectively. Of course, given that the England players will be available only for three weeks of the IPL, this means that whatever their value, they would be paid only proportionately for the matches played.
This means that even if Pietersen goes for $1.5 million, what he'll be paid will depend on how many games he plays. If he plays 50%, he'll get $750,000. So here's another question. Why would someone pay that much for a player? "Simple," says an official.
"It's a combination of the player's potential as a cricketer and his potential as a marketable commodity. Take Beckham, he might not have played too many games for a club, but he pulls in the crowds and the sponsors."
So here we have it, Pietersen, cricket's very own Beckham. Otherwise, this auction doesn't really matter.