Apart from the possibility of 10 teams participating in the player auction ahead of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) fourth edition, the two-day exercise will see another first.
Uncapped players - those who haven't played international cricket, will go under the hammer.
The IPL governing council had earlier decided that uncapped players who had featured in 75 per cent of their teams' IPL matches would be eligible to be auctioned at Bangalore on January 8-9.
However, it was recently decided that the pool would be much larger. Of the 416 players short-listed, as on December 17, almost one-third are uncapped.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that all the players, including those who haven't featured either in an IPL or international match, would figure in the auction. "Uncapped players will be a part of the auction," Sundar Raman, IPL's chief operation officer, told HT.
In a communication to all teams on December 17, a copy of which is in possession of HT, the IPL has asked the teams to shortlist players from the eligible list of 416 whom they would like to bid for. It is expected that the step will result in auction pool shrinking to around 250 players.
During the previous three auctions, players who had featured in at least one international match were eligible to be sold. The change seems to have gone down well with the franchises. "This will enable us to have a larger pool to select from," a top team official, preferring anonymity, said.
However, the franchises are unhappy with the decision to bar overseas player signings before the event.
Though the December 17 document has asked the franchises to inform the IPL about signings of domestic players before the auction, it was learnt that in a separate communication, the franchises have been barred from signing players from the list of short-listed names.
"There is not much to choose from the domestic players," a team official said.
"It's better if they allow us to start signing from the pool of rejected players even before the auction."