THE SPOTLIGHT WILL BE ON THE EXPERIENCED OF Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra at the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions scheduled to held in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Six other marquee players -- Shane Watson, Kevin Pietersen, Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, Martin Guptill and Dwayne Smith -- are set to go under the hammer. While the base price of five marquee players has been pegged at Rs.2 crore that for South African pacer Dale Steyn is Rs.1.5 crore.
Australian opener Aaron Finch has a base price of Rs.1 crore but New Zealander Martin Guptill and West Indian Smith have a tag of Rs.50 lakh.
A total of 351 players will be put up for sale. A maximum of 116 and a minimum of 28 out of the 351 can be bought by the eight teams. A must be picked up. A total of 36 non-Indians can be bought.
Of the 351 players, 230 are Indian. Two are from the International Cricket Council associate countries namely Canadian all-rounder Nikhil Dutta base-price at Rs.10 lakh and Irish all-rounder Kevin priced at Rs.30 lakh.
Focus will also be on the two new teams -- Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants -- regarding their policy at the auction. The two new franchises picked five players each from the draft and they now have Rs.27 crore each remaining in their purse.
Only seven players outside the marquees have their base price locked at Rs.2 crore and they are Michael Hussey, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik, Stuart Binny and Mitchell Marsh.
Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad, in their quest to build new teams, have released most of their players and thus have a huge amount available with them for the auctions. While Delhi have a purse of Rs.37.15 crore, Hyderabad have Rs.30.15 crore in their bank.
It will be interesting to see how Delhi fare at the auctions. They have the money and they would leave no stone unturned in their quest for having match-winners in their squad.
Except the big guns, all eyes would be on the likes of Australian all rounder Travis Head and England batsman Jos Buttler also who are expected to be bought at huge prices.