S. Venkat Narayan, in Sunday Island, 28 January 2018
As many as 578 players from 13 cricketing nations are taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction that kicked off in Bengaluru in Karnataka state on Saturday. Eighteen of them are Sri Lankan. Pakistanis do not figure in the list of players trying their luck in the world’s richest cricket tournament. An original pool of 1122 has been trimmed down to 578 cricketers. Of these, 360 are Indian: 62 capped and 298 uncapped. The rest overseas players. The list includes 182 capped, 34 uncapped and two Associates players.
With 18 players retained by the franchises, a maximum of 182 players can be chosen at the auction. While Angelo Mathews has set his base price at INR 20 million, Lasith Malinga’s base price is INR 10 million. Each of the remaining 16 Sri Lankans has set his base price at five million Indian rupees.
Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera and Asela Gunaratne can be surprise picks. Gunaratne was bought by Mumbai Indians last year but did not get a game. The other Sri Lankans include Kusal Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Dilshan Munaweera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dasun Shanaka, Dushmanta Chameera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya de Silva and Isuru Udana.
Meanwhile, with this being a fresh auction, there is a much larger number of players with a top base price bracket of INR 20 million: 36; 13 of them are Indians: R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Karn Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa.
The overseas batch with a INR 20-million base price are: Rashid Khan, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Cameron White, Eoin Morgan, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Corey Anderson, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Colin Ingram, Angelo Mathews, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.
Of the 244 capped players, 62 are Indians, 39 Australians, 33 South Africans, 26 West Indians, 23 Englishmen, 23 New Zealanders, 18 Sri Lankans, nine Afghans, six Bangladeshis, four Zimbabweans, one Irishman
The two Associate players are one each from Canada and Nepal.
The list of 332 uncapped players comprises 298 Indians, 15 Australians, eight South Africans, eight West Indians, one Afghan, one Englishman, one New Zealander.
Ah!! But what happened?