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'Second IPL players' auction next week'

IPL will conduct a 2nd players' auction next week to enable franchises that have money left after the initial auction.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2008 06:52 PM IST

The Cricket Board-floated Indian Premier League will conduct a second players' auction next week to enable franchises, that have money left after the initial auction held on February 20, from the $ 5 US five million cap, supplement their player base.

"We plan to hold an internal players auction next week with only the team mangement who have money left (in their kitty) to supplement their players," Lalit Modi, IPL Commissioner and Chairman, told PTI in an interview here.

Each franchise was to spend a minimum of USD 3.3 million and a maximum of USD 5 million for buying players put up at the auction as well as paying for the five icon players whose value was fixed at 15 per cent over and above the costliest player bid successfully by that particular franchise.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag are the icon players for Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mohali and Delhi franchises respectively.

The first auction held last month saw 79 players snapped up by the eight franchises for sums ranging from USD 4,00,000 (base price) to 1.5 million USD (amount paid for Indian one-day and T20 captain by Chennai franchise India Cements).

Modi admitted that the response for the first auction was a bit above what was expected, while mentioning that it was not extra-ordinary considering it was a pioneering effort towards the dawn of a new era in the game.

"To be absolutely honest, the response garnered by the DLF Indian Premier League has been a tad above expectation. But I would not state it is out of the ordinary, when we consider that this was a first towards a bold, new cricketing era," he said.

Modi felt that the IPL not just provided an ideal stage to showcase the game in the country but also gave a world arena for many aspiring younsters while, at the same time, help develop the sport at the base level.

"I believe what we have today is not only the best platform for showcasing cricket in India, but is also a world stage for many a young aspiring Indian youth.

"Needless to state that it will significantly benefit the cricketing infrastructure of our country in the long run and help develop the game at the grass roots," Modi said.

Modi said IPL was the global platform to take the willow game into the next millennia.

"A lot has been said about the monies involved, but when the dust has settled I am certain people will see the DLF Indian Premier League for what is truly - a true global platform to take cricket into the next millennia," he predicted.

The IPL chairman, who is also a Vice President of the BCCI, defended the auctioning of players in which they were sold like commodities which has come under fire from a few quarters.

"For me the DLF IPL is all about showcasing cricketing talent on a global stage. People that make remarks otherwise simply have not understood the essence of professional sports. What the IPL has done is simply allow free market forces to facilitate a free and fair evaluation of cricketers based on their future potential.

"If a cricketer does not perform at the international level while playing for his country he will not receive the kind of valuations from the free market based on the very principles of economics," he said.

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