The IPL 2017 is set to begin on April 5, which should be another special edition of the competition that came into being in 2008. But even before the first ball is going to be bowled in IPL 2017, there is some real off-field action in the form of IPL 2017 auction, set to take place on Monday in Bengaluru.
As many as 799 players from all around the world including India had given their names for the IPL 2017 auction list. It was understood then that the number would be pruned down as the names were sent to the eight participating teams, and they would decide which players they would want for the auction.
That list of 799 players has been brought down tremendously, by more than 50 percent, as only 351 players will be going under the hammer of Richard Madley, who will conduct the IPL 2017 auction. Out of the 351, 122 of them are capped internationals. Besides players of Test playing nations featuring in the IPL 2017 auction, six cricketers -- five from Afghanistan and one from UAE -- from the associate nations will also be part of the auction, making it even grand.
It remains to be seen if the franchises will go all out and splurge in the auction considering that the teams will undergo a revamp next year. All the teams will only be allowed to retain a few players from their IPL 2017 squad for the next auction before the 11th edition in 2018.
However, there are number of players, who are on line to get major deals for this season. England all-rounder Ben Stokes is said to be on the radar of many teams in the auction, and a player of his ability is expected to make some major moolah.
Besides Stokes, other cricketers from England, Australia, South Africa and also domestic players from India will be eager to be picked in the IPL 2017 auction. With a number of world-class players available in the pool, an entertaining auction is on the cards as all the teams are looking to strengthen their squad to some extent to mount a title challenge.
The final list with all the players available is expected to be announced soon along with their base price.