Once a sought-after property, Yuvraj Singh faces the risk of going unsold at the 2019 IPL auction here Tuesday with the franchisees factoring in the availability of foreign players in a World Cup year.
Yuvraj, who fetched a record Rs 16 crore deal in his prime, was bought by Kings XI Punjab for his base price of Rs 2 crore at the auction held before the last edition. While Chris Gayle repaid the faith KXIP posed in him with a fruitful season, Yuvraj could not set the house on fire, managing just 65 runs in eight games. No wonder the team decided to release him.
The 37-year-old, who last played for India in June 2017, has put himself in the Rs 1 crore base price bracket this time alongside other capped Indians — Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel.
In fact, no Indian figures in the highest base price of Rs 2 crore among a pool of 346 cricketers set to go under the hammer. The venue is new with the Pink City hosting the event instead of Bangalore and so is the auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades, who replaces Richard Madley after 11 seasons.
The nine players in the Rs 2 crore bracket are Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Lasith Malinga, Shaun Marsh, Sam Curran, Colin Ingram, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews and D’Arcy Short.
Teams are also likely to chase experienced overseas players such as Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales, who have put themselves in the Rs 1.5 crore category. Indian all-rounder Jaydev Unadkat, who was bought for Rs 11.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals, will also feature in the same bracket.
A total of 70 players can be bought at the auction with 20 slots available for the the foreign players.
India Test regulars like Cheteswar Pujara and Ishant Sharma have also thrown their hat into the ring with base prices of Rs 50 and Rs 75 lakh respectively.
Alongside the big names, a host of uncapped Indian players will be up for grabs with some of them expected to turn millionaires overnight.
Keeping the hectic schedule in mind leading up to the World Cup in England from May 30 to July 14, Australian stars like Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell have opted out of the auction. Though dates and venue are not yet announced, the IPL is expected to run from the last week of March to mid-May.
Since the World Cup will begin two weeks after the IPL, it has raised questions on the availability of the Australian players who will be named in the squad for the showpiece. The same goes for England players who will be required to report to the World Cup preparatory camp in the middle of the IPL.
The teams will go into the auction well aware of the players’ availability. With Rs 36.20 crore, KXIP will have maximum money to spend, followed by Delhi Capitals (Rs 25.50 crore), Rajasthan Royals (Rs 20.95 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (Rs 18.15 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (Rs 15.20 crore), Mumbai Indians (Rs 11.15 crore), Sunrisers Hyderabad (Rs 9.70 crore) and Chennai Super Kings (Rs 8.40 crore).