Anything that is associated with the Indian Premier League (IPL) needs a touch of intrigue and excitement else it would seem like it is against the grain of this tournament — one that has been mired in controversy over the past year.
So even as players’ minds would have wandered, on the eve of the auction, to how much their bank balance could swell there was speculation that come Saturday and the 350-odd players may not even go under the hammer.
This was because of the legal wrangling between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the two teams — Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab — that has marked the run up to the much-awaited auction.
While top IPL honchos and lawyers studied, over the last 48 hours, the minute details of the documents submitted by Royals and Kings XI, there was talk that these two franchisees would not be allowed to participate in the auction.
Team owners will each go into the auction hoping to make their respective wish-lists come true. The 2011 auction will also provide the much-maligned IPL a chance to regain goodwill and gain integrity before it fades under the shadow of the World Cup for two months and re-merges to hog the spotlight with its fourth edition.
IPL auction begins, big names up for grabs
Three years after the first Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction changed the face of the game, cricket’s biggest names 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
the fourth IPL has 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.”