IPL: 333 players shortlisted for December 19 auction
World Cup winners Travis Head, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, all likely to attract big bucks, are among the first sets of players in their respective categories (capped batters, all-rounders and bowlers, respectively) who will be up for bidding at the IPL 2024 auction that will be held in Dubai on December 19.
Also among the all-rounders list is the World Cup’s breakout star Rachin Ravindra, who has listed his base price at INR 50 lakh.
From an initial auction pool of 1166 players, the released list has been pruned down to 333. Of these, 119 are overseas players, including two from Associate nations – Netherlands’ fast bowler Paul van Meekeren and Namibia all-rounder David Wiese.
Among the prominent Indian names in the capped sets are Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel, Manish Pandey and Umesh Yadav.
The auction will begin with capped players, starting off with batters, followed by all-rounders, wicketkeepers, fast bowlers and spinners in the listed order. The same sequence will be followed for the uncapped players.
The first set comprising capped batters also has in the mix England’s Harry Brook, who was among three of the five most expensive buys at the previous auction.
After three teams went aggressively for him, he was eventually signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 13.25 crores. He had underwhelming returns – 190 runs in 11 innings, 100 of those coming in one innings alone – and was subsequently released.
Head, meanwhile, hasn’t featured in the IPL for six seasons now. However, his recent success – he was Player of the Match in both the semi-finals and finals at the World Cup – could force multiple teams to break the bank to secure his services. Head has also been a prolific scorer in the BBL for the Adelaide Strikers.
Another breakout star from the World Cup who could attract significant interest is Afghanistan’s seam-bowling all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai, who comes with a base price of INR 50 lakh. Omarzai was Afghanistan’s highest run-getter – 353 runs in eight innings at an average of 70.60 and strike rate of 97.78 – in the tournament.
He also picked up seven wickets. Interestingly, the youngest player to feature in the shortlist is also from Afghanistan – Allah Ghazanfar, the 16-year-old mystery spinner. The oldest is his countryman Mohammad Nabi at 39.
Last season’s runners-up Gujarat Titans head into the auction with the biggest purse of INR 38.15 crore – 15 crore of which have come through an all-cash deal that saw their captain Hardik Pandya move to Mumbai Indians.
They have since named Shubman Gill, last season’s highest run-getter as the new captain. Sunrisers Hyderabad (34 crores) and Kolkata Knight Riders (32.7 crores) will come with the second and third-biggest purse.
The auction, which is being held overseas for the first time, will begin at 2.30pm IST (1pm local). The event will also feature a live audience for the first time. (ESPNcricinfo)