Tuesday, January 19, 2010

IPL 3: The fight begins with auction

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

A noticeable difference between the first auction in the Indian Premiere League and the one today has been the maturity shown by the franchisees. One lesson that the teams have learnt in the last two seasons is big name don't necessarily deliver match winning performances. The bits and pieces cricketers and the lesser known names are the once who have generally excelled in the two editions of the tournament. New stars have taken birth in the last two years while some stars failed to sparkle.

Some teams like the Kolkata Knight Riders suffered heavily having too many big international names while most of their Indian players failed to perform in both the seasons. Having too many international stars also did not help cause as only four could be fielded. Deccan Chargers Hyderabad learnt the lesson in the first season where Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi and Herschelle Gibbs could not be played in the same team.

Value for money seems to have been the mantra for most of the franchises in this auction and some of them have made smart and logical decisions. Kolkata Knight Riders have bought out the contract of Australia skipper Ricky Ponting who is unlikely to figure in this season's tournament. KKR who had made a mockery of themselves last years buying Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza for $600,000 (Rs 2.7 crore) and played him in only one match made a sensible decision this time going for New Zealand all-rounder Shane Bond for a whopping $750,000 (Rs 3.42 crores)

Royal Challengers Bangalore followed KKR's footsteps and ending its relationship with Australian bowler Nathan Bracken. Explosive Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard also went for a whooping $750,000 after a four-way tie breaker. Pollard has impressed all with his display in the inaugural Champions League was brought by Mumbai Indians. Mohammad Kaif who was released by Rajasthan Royals was picked up by Kings XI Punjab.

Harshal Patel, Harmeet Singh and Ashok Menaria are the U-19 players who have a fixed price of Rs 8 Lakh. For the first time, Under-19 players have been introduced to the franchisees. This means that a lot of young blood who haven't even made their debut at the Ranji level will be seen in the company of the giants of international cricket. Although an excellent opportunity for this youngsters, these players have to be handled carefully to avoid them from getting overboard with the fastest version of the game.


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