Cricketers auction for IPL 4 begins in Bangalore

By V.S. Karnic, IANS
Saturday, January 8, 2011

BANGALORE - Seated eight to a table at the over 7,000 sq ft pillar-less Mysore Hall of ITC Royal Gardenia Hotel here, business leaders and film stars Saturday began picking up cricketers for the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) fourth season.

The IPL-4 beginning April 8 will see 10 teams and 74 matches in the shortest version of cricket. Two new entrants to this edition are Kochi and Pune Warriors.

The 10 owners have 353 players from across the cricketing world, except Pakistan, to bid for Saturday and Sunday.

Each team can have a maximum of 30 players and a minimum of 16.

There is a cap on the total amount that a team can cough up — $9 million. However the teams like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils have lesser amount to spend as they have retained some cricketers who played for them in the earlier editions.

The total amount bid over the next two days will be $75 million.

For the first time legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara, who played for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), will be up for grabs by bidders who include liquor baron Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers), India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani (Mumbai Indians), the ‘Bollywood Badshah’ Shah Rukh Khan (Kolkata Knight Riders), and the glamorous Preity Zinta (Kings XI Punjab) and Shilpa Shetty (Rajasthan Royals), among others.

The auction will be a two-day affair unlike the previous ones in Mumbai where it was all over in a day.

While the team owners along with the coaches and cricket experts will be ready with a strategy to get the players of their choice, the cricketers themselves will be keenly following the action to know their fate.

The cricketers have been divided into different price bands with the highest reserve price fixed at $400,000 for the marquee players like Lara, fellow West Indian Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen of England, New Zealander Brendon McCullum, Australian Adam Gilchrist and Indians Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.

The auction will be conducted by Richard Madley, a professional auctioneer from England who supervised all IPL auctions.

Base prices of some of the star players are as follows:

$400,000: Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly.

$300,000: Zaheer Khan, Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews.

$200,000: Gautam Gambhir, Michael Hussey, Doug Bollinger, Dirk Nannes, Eoin Morgan, Robin Uthappa, Sanath Jayasuriya.

$100,000: Tamim Iqbal, R.Ashwin, Morne Morkel, Ben Hilfenhaus.

will not be displayed