The biggest cricketing spectacle in India, the Indian Premier league creates a lot of excitement among cricket fans all over the world. Every year as March approaches, people eagerly wait to watch their favourite team’s performance. But real fans get excited even before the tournament starts.
These fans wait for the annual IPL auction which can drastically change their favorite team’s dynamics. Some fans want their favorite team to remain the same especially if they have been performing well. But some would like to add some fresh blood into their team to improve the team’s performance. A successful IPL auction can make a mediocre team become a strong contender for the championship title.
In this section, I tell you more about the IPL auction, how it works, some interesting facts about it.
Before commencing the IPL season of the year, every team lets go of some players either due to underperformance or if the player is injured and unable to participate in the tournament. Hence BCCI has given an option to all IPL teams to infuse fresh talent in their team and fill the empty slots. But they just can’t get a player of their choice right away. Instead, they need to participate in the auctioning process. Every team bids on the players and the highest bidding team wins them.
There are certain rules and regulations that BCCI has set up that team owners participating in the IPL auction need to follow.
- The first rule is the spending cap on each team. Every team has a maximum cap they can spend on buying new players. In 2019 BCCI had kept a cap of 82 crores that a team could spend which in 2020 was increased to 85 crores. The important thing to know here is the spending includes paying for the existing players in the team as well.
- The second rule is every team should have 25 players in their squad.
- The third rule is every team can have a maximum of 8 overseas players and rest should be Indian players.
As we discussed above, every IPL team gets a certain kitty that they can spend on buying new players. But every team needs to first allocate the kitty to their existing players and only the remaining amount can be spent on IPL Auction.
The IPL auction happens just like any other auctioning process. Richard Madley who is neither a player nor an investor has been anchoring the IPL auction process since 2008. Richard who is a fine arts auctioneer in the UK has made his entire career in auctioning.
Interestingly Richard was the last person to hold the auction in the twin tower of New York before the 9/11 terrorist attack unfortunately destroyed these towers.
Every year IPL auction gives cricket fans some very interesting benchmarks. For example Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh has been the costliest player to be auctioned in IPL history for 16 crores. This was in 2015 when he was bought by Delhi Dare Devils. He still continues to hold the record.
The youngest player to be auctioned in IPL was Mujeeb Zadran from Afghanistan who was just 16 years old. He was bought by Kings Eleven Punjab for 4 crores.
The first Nepali player to be auctioned in IPL was Sandeep Lamichane who was bought by Delhi Dare Devils. He was just 17 years old.
Chris Gayle whose holds the record for highest sixes in the IPL was surprisingly bought by Kolkata Knight Riders at a base price of 2 crores.
Just like all the previous seasons, IPL auction of 2020 was nothing short of spectacular. It was star-studded with Bollywood celebrities like Preeti Zinta, Shilpa Shetty bidding alongside Indian business tycoons like the Ambani family and Raj Kundra.
The Franchises ended up spending a whopping INR 136 crore ($17.9 million) in buying 61 domestic and international players.
Australian players had the best time in the auction as twelve of them were auctioned at a staggering amount of INR 56 crores ($7.4 million).
Australian all-rounder Pat Cummins was the costliest player in IPL 2020 where he was purchased at 15.5 crores making him just 50 lakh shy of the costliest player in the IPL history.
On the Indian player side, spin bowler Piyush Chawla was the most expensive player bought at the price tag of 6.75 crores.
The IPL auction list had 338 players who were available for all 8 teams which consisted of 190 Indian players and 148 foreign players. Out of these 33 Indian players and 28 foreign players were auctioned.
But IPL auction is not just about the highest bid. It is also about how much a player gains in an auction compared to his base price. In this regard, West Indian bowler Sheldon Cottrell was the biggest gainer. He was sold for 8.5 crores while his base price was just 50 lac. So he gained seventeen times his base value in the auction.
Similarly West Indian player Shimron Hetmyer who also had a base price of 50 lacs was picked up in the IPL auction for 7.75 crore which was fifteen times his base value.
Some well-known players, unfortunately, were not picked up by any teams. Indian Batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara who was relieved from Royal challengers Bangalore earlier was not picked by any team in 2020. The same was the fate of New Zealand batsmen Martin Guptill who was released from Sunrisers Hyderabad and ended up going unsold.
To conclude, the overall IPL Auction just like the game is an exciting event in itself and many times the fate of the team has changed post auction. The auction for 2020 IPL happened in December 2019 but due coronavirus lockdown the game has been postponed as of now until further notice from BCCI.