The player auction for the Indian Premier League is usually a block-buster event with incredible moves by some franchises and some really big players being sold off. The Indian Premier League auction for 2016 promises to be an interesting affair what with two more teams being expected to be added to the competition.
The 2016 IPL Auction will be held on February 6, 2016 in Bengaluru, while the opening ceremony of the tournament will be held in Mumbai on April 8. The tournament will begin from April 9.
According to latest reports, the two new sides added to the IPL for the next two editions of the tournament will be New Rising Pune and Intex Rajkot, both of whom were selected on December 8 through a reverse bidding process.
What this means is the players belonging to Rajasthan and Chennai could be released into an auction pool and bought by the other sides, including these two news teams.
The spectacle of the IPL auction was as eye-catching and exciting as the tournament itself with big names from the world of cricket, entertainment and business present.
Delhi Daredevils were the biggest spenders which was unsurprising after their really poor performance in IPL 7. They brought in 14 players at the auction and made Yuvraj Singh the most expensive player in IPL by paying for Rs 16 crore for him. Their total spend was a whopping Rs 38.1 crore.
Rajasthan Royals were on the other end of the spectrum with them spending the least at the auction. Their highest successful bid was for Christopher Morris at Rs 1.4 crore and their total spend was a modest Rs 2.1 crore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad went in big as well with Bangalore shelling out Rs 10.5 crore for Dinesh Karthik while Hyderabad bought half of their 10 new recruits for over Rs one crore each.
Mumbai Indians did some excellent business by getting talented Australian all-rounder Aaron Finch as well as Indian internationals Pragyan Ojha and Abhimanyu Mithun at the player auction.
While Kings XI Punjab bought only three players, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders also had a low-key auction with K.C. Cariappa being their highest buy at Rs 2.4 crore.
Despite the financial muscle, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad fared miserably finishing seventh and sixth respectively in the standings and both failing to qualify for the play-off stage for the second consecutive year.
While shrewd buys enabled Mumbai Indians to win their third title and become the most successful team in the Indian Premier League history.
The auction for 2016 is going to be very crucial for teams like Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata who have not lived up to their potential in IPL 8. With increasing doubts over the participation of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals there could be a fresh auction for all players which will enable other teams to cherry pick the best players available, especially from the two tainted franchises.
The auction of players in IPL – the first of its kind in Indian sports – always garners a huge audience and great coverage. The live telecast of the auction on television and online streaming adds extra spice and interest to proceedings and it is set to be the same for 2016.
The most important question is which team will lay down the gauntlet and use the player auction as the platform to not just enhance its squad but weaken others to ensure they have the upper hand when the main tournament starts.