IPL 2019: One of the most peculiar auctions awaits all teams
Only a few days are left before the 2019 IPL auction which will be held on the 18th of December, Tuesday in Jaipur. The players who will be featuring in the auction are already out with their base prices. This list of players includes players from all major cricket playing countries, apart from some players who have registered themselves from Zimbabwe, Netherlands and Afghanistan.
There is also a player from USA who has been shortlisted. He is a bowler named Muhammad Khan whose base price is 40 lakhs. The total slots available and up for grabs with all 8 teams combined is just 70 and the list of players shortlisted are a whopping 346. Out of these 346, 226 are Indians and the rest are overseas players.
Out of these 346, nine players have their base price set at 2 crore, which is the highest. These nine names are Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Lasith Malinga, Colin Ingram, Shaun Marsh, Corey Anderson, Sam Curran, Angelo Mathews and D’Arcy Short. 10 players have kept their base price at 1.5 Crores, a category in which the only Indian name is Jaydev Unadkat. Further down, there are 19 players listed at a base price of 1 crore. This list includes four Indians including Yuvraj Singh, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel.
Looking at the country-wise distribution, Indians stand at 226 out of the total 346, followed by South Africa at 26. Next are the Aussies at 23, then the West Indies and England with 18 players each, followed by 13 players from New Zealand. Afghanistan has eight players selected, followed by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with seven and two respectively. There are two players from Zimbabwe, and lastly, there is a player each from USA. Ireland and Netherlands.
Over the course of the biggest Twenty20 tournament of the World, there have been twp World Cup years and two election years. However, the BCCI faces a new challenge as 2019 has both, the World Cup and the central government elections around the IPL.
Now, due to the World Cup, the franchises who will be picking the players in the auction this time will have to keep certain things in mind. One of them is to spend money on a player only after analyzing the availability of that player during the tournament. Every team will try and avoid players who will be missing the IPL.
Players from Australia might not be allowed to play at all or will be available only for a few matches in the initial stage. The same implies for players from England as well. This will affect Rajasthan Royals the most because they majorly have English firepower in their retained overseas players. So they will have a task in choosing the right players when their retained players are not available.
Almost all other teams also need to be very careful in picking the right players. We might see some least expected players being picked for a one year contract, if not more. This is because the teams might play very safe and pick those players who won't be featuring in their national side for the World Cup. So players like Colin Ingram, Luke Wright and James Faulkner might score big at the auction.
On the previous two occasions when there was a cricket World Cup, (2011 and 2015), it was before the IPL. So IPL got ample participation from players across countries. However, this time the World Cup starts right after the IPL ends, so the countries have been showing some hesitation in releasing players to come and play the IPL.
As far as the elections are concerned, on both the previous occasions, (2009 and 2014), the IPL was shifted out of the country. In 2009, the complete season was shifted to South Africa whereas, in 2014, the initial stage which overlapped with the elections was shifted to Dubai. As of now, there is no confirmation about the venue of the IPL. However, there have been talks about the broadcasting partner of IPL wishes the IPL to stay in India itself.
Whether the league will be conducted in India or in some other country, is a decision that is yet to be taken and it is expected soon. However, this auction is going to be a treat for the fans, with the fight for good players assumed to be long, with very limited money to spend from the purse.