Franchises want early auction

IPL teams eager to market new players as soon as possible

Pune's Yuvraj and Bhuvneshwar will be up for grabs as their team is no longer part of IPL.

New Delhi:
After team owners and CEOs meeting the governing council members of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at a two-day workshop in Singapore on November 28 and 29, it was decided that the auction of the seventh edition of the IPL would be held on February 12 and 13.

With the tournament most likely to be played in April-May, it would leave the eight teams with around two months to create a bond within the team as there are set to be wholesome changes in most of the teams this time.

But speaking to Mail Today, an official of one of the IPL teams said that a few teams want the auction to be held at an earlier date as that would help the teams in marketing their players and creating a local connect between the new players acquired and the teams’ existing fanbase.

“Connecting with the fans is an extremely important activity for all IPL teams. So we want the auction to be held at an earlier date as that would help us in marketing the new players that we acquire in this auction."

After all, the fans have been used to a set of players over the last six editions and there have only been minor changes. But you can expect quite a few changes in most teams this time round and marketing the new players is an important aspect that we are looking into,” he said.

Also, after the meeting between the governing council members and the owners and CEOs, it is now the turn of the team owners to sit and plan their strategies — with their own team management — going into the auction.

The IPL governing council has already discussed their plan of action — going into the seventh edition of the cash- rich league — with team owners and CEOs, but there was nothing definite that was announced at the end of the meeting and only ideas were floated — to gauge the reaction of the owners.

And it is believed that not only was there a lot of disagreement when it came to matters of retention and the salary cap for the 2014 auction, but there is also some vagueness over the whole retention issue that needs to be cleared.

An official of one of the IPL teams said that there is a lot of ambiguity on the retention clause and teams need to get back to the drawing board and plan their strategies going into the auction so that they are not caught off guard.

And having the auction at an earlier date would help the teams in marketing the new players acquired in the auction.

“It was discussed that we could be allowed to retain five players and given a ‘trump card’ so that we can use it to buy back players we haven’t retained initially. Now the point is that we haven’t yet been told officially whether the number will be five or more. Also, we weren’t told as to how we are expected to pick the five players.

“For example, it could be a 2-2-1 policy, in which case we can retain two Indian players, two foreign players and one uncapped player. But it could also be five Indian players and no foreign players. So there is a lot of confusion, so we need to have three or four plans going into the auction so that we aren’t caught unawares on the day of the auction.

And for that reason, we are set to have a meeting soon that will see the owner and team management coming together,” he told Mail Today.

His sentiments were echoed by another official.

“See, during the workshop, the CEOs and owners were present. But they don’t take cricketing calls. So we need to sit together and work our strategies for the auction. Why only us, I am sure all the teams will now sit and chalk out their strategies going into the auction."

“We are planning to meet next week and only after that we will have a clear idea as to how we will approach the auction as there still isn’t any official confirmation given to the teams by the governing council on the pattern to be followed in the auction,” he said.

The official further clarified that there was no talks about involving Pakistan players in the seventh edition of the IPL. “There were talks last year that Pakistan players could be given a go-ahead to participate in the IPL. But I can tell you that there were no talks about their participation during the Singapore workshop. But I can tell you for sure that England players will be a big draw this year,” he said.