Rajkot and Pune pull socks up to draft IPL players

A file photo of the new owners along with BCCI officials (pic courtesy: IPL Twitter account)
Almost 50 players, including M S Dhoni, Shane Watson and Dwayne Smith, will be up for grabs as the two new teams in the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) go into the first ever draft of players.

The two new franchises, Sanjeev Goenka’s Pune team and the Intex team from Rajkot, will have a chance to pick up five players each before the annual auction that takes place in February every year.

Unlike an auction, where players are allotted a base or reserve price and then are subjected to bidding by the participating teams, a draft has a fixed price. The two teams can choose from a pool of players from the two suspended teams, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.

Traditionally, the IPL has followed the auction method for player acquisition. However, every year, the teams are allowed to retain five players. The two teams hence will go into the auctions with up to five players each, just like the other six teams.

The draft will take place at the Mumbai Cricket Association on Tuesday. The process entails the teams taking turns in picking players with a fixed price. The Pune team will pick first. Each team can spend Rs 40-66 crore on acquiring the five players. The rest of the money will be available to the franchises to spend during auctions on February 6, 2016.

While this is a first for the IPL, drafting of players has been taking place in other leagues like the Hero Indian Super League and the Champions Tennis League. In this case, the players from the two teams will be sorted into two categories, capped and uncapped. The first capped player will be paid Rs 12.5 crore, while the remaining four capped players are to receive Rs 9.5 crore, Rs 7.5 crore, Rs 5.5 crore, and Rs 4 crore, respectively.

Uncapped players can be picked for a stipulated fee of Rs 4 crore. In order to retain five players, a team will end up spending Rs 39 crore as of the 2015 season.

All eyes are now on who will be picked by the two new teams in the draft on Tuesday. While the obvious choices are Dhoni, Watson, Smith and Ajinkya Rahane, experts believe others like R Ashwin, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja will also be in demand.

Auction versus draft

Auction: the players are divided in two groups – capped and uncapped. They are then further divided into categories depending on their base price. Last year, the highest base price was Rs 2 crore. The teams then bid for the players as they come up for auction.

Draft: The players are divided into two groups – capped and uncapped. Unlike an auction, there is a fixed price. The teams take turns in picking players from the pool of capped an uncapped players.

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