The player auction for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will take place in Bengaluru on Monday, 20 February, as per official confirmation from the governing council.
The latest development comes after the auction was earlier rumored to be shifting from the Karnataka capital city to Mumbai, with a senior official of an IPL franchise hinting at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly citing logistical and financial convenience for the move.
As per an official BCCI release, in the auction, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the city, will have eight franchises having a total balance purse of Rs 143.3 crore for player bids for the upcoming season. The release also mentioned that more than 750 players have so far registered for the auction, the deadline of which ends on Friday.
Each team can have a maximum of 27 players, including 9 overseas players. A maximum of 76 players, including 28 overseas, can be bought at the auction.
Bengaluru thus will be hosting the auction for the fourth consecutive time, having done so a total of five times in the last nine editions. Bengaluru has become nearly synonymous with the player auction process, with Mumbai comes a close second, having hosted it for the inaugural edition in 2008, as well as two years later. Goa and Chennai have hosted a player auction each in 2009 and 2013 respectively.
“Earlier, the IMG team in the last few years would head off to Bengaluru well in advance to start the back-end work. And then you had all the IPL governing council members heading to the city a few days prior to the auction. Having it in Mumbai also helps in keeping the cost under check,” the official was quoted as saying according to the earlier report.
The team that goes into the auction with the biggest purse is Kings XI Punjab, having Rs 23.35 crore at its disposal. Delhi Daredevils are second in the list with a balance purse of Rs 23.1 crore.
Mumbai Indians will have the least amount of money to be spent as they are only left with Rs 11.555 crore, a little less than Royal Challengers Bangalore (Rs 12.825 crore). The latest IPL entrants, Pune Super Giants and Gujarat Lions, are left with Rs 17.5 crore and Rs 14.35 crore respectively.
With a squad limit being 27, Kolkata Knight Riders are expected to do a lot of buying at the auction, having gotten only 14 players on their roster so far.
In December, the big names that were released from their respective squads were India pacer Ishant Sharma, South African speedster Dale Steyn and former England batting star Kevin Pietersen, who has now ruled himself out of the upcoming edition.
As many as 140 cricketers, including 44 overseas players, were retained, while 63 were let go by the eight franchises.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locked horns in the summit clash of last year’s event, with Australian batsman David Warner leads the former to its first-ever title win.