The IPL 2017 auction is finally here. There is always a sense of excitement as players are sold for astronomical amounts. It is after the birth of IPL in 2008, that many cricketers became millionaires overnight. However, for the franchises, who buy them, it is a case of acquiring players to strengthen their squad.
Though the real IPL action begins on April 5, 2017 with the opening clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the battle amongst teams will start in Bengaluru on Monday, where franchises will buy players of their choice in the auction.
All the eight teams -- Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, Gujarat Lions, Rising Pune Supergiants, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians – come with their homework well done.
With a number of incredibly talented players including Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Jason Roy, Trent Boult, Mitchell Johnson, Martin Guptill and others available, franchises are aware that such cricketers will attract most teams. Teams must come into the IPL 2017 with a clear cut strategy, which includes Plan A, B and also C in case they do not get players, who they had initially thought of buying. It is such nature of IPL auction, which makes it even more interesting.
However, all the teams have their scouts, who keep an eye on several players around the world, and try to snap lesser known players for less money in IPL 2017. Players like Ben Dunk (Australia) could be good addition for less money.
Just because, a particular team wants an XYZ player, the franchise cannot go all out on one single player, and buy some ordinary players with the remainder of their money.
There are some teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, who will have to buy a number of players as they only have 13 players in their squad. With a purse of Rs 19.75 crores, they need to make good use of their money.
The IPL 2017 auction is absolutely tricky for the eight teams as the franchises are set to undergo major changes next season. A single team can retain very few players from the IPL 2017 squad as a mega auction will take place ahead of IPL 2018.
As a result, teams might not be too aggressive on their bidding. Adding to this, the franchises need to consider various factors before picking up international players, especially from South Africa and England. Players from both the countries will leave IPL 2017 early, and will not be available for the entire competition.
But, one has witnessed, if a certain franchise wants a particular player, they do not mind shelling out mega money irrespective of conditions. For example, how can a team not bid for Ben Stokes? The Englishman could lead to a bidding war.
You can never anticipate as to what will happen in IPL 2017 auction, as there have been some major surprises in the past with quality players remaining unsold, while unknown cricketers go for mega money.
What will happen in IPL 2017 auction? We shall know by Monday evening. One thing is for sure, some franchises and players will be happy with their deals, while some unsold players will keep their fingers crossed for IPL 2018.
Where to watch live
The IPL 2017 auction will start at 9.30am IST (3pm AEDT, 4am GMT, 11pm ET). Here are the TV and live streaming options.
India: Sony Six, Sony Six HD. Live Streaming : Hotstar
UK:TV: Sky Sports. Live Streaming : Sky Sports Go.
USA:TV: ESPN. Live Streaming : Watch ESPN.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket HD.Live streaming: OSN Play
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming : Sportsnet live
South Africa: TV: SuperSport. Live Streaming : SuperSport live