As many as 332 cricketers (186 Indian, 146 overseas players) will go under the hammer at the auction with Australia’s all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and veteran South African fast bowler Dale Steyn among those opting for the highest base price of Rs2 crore. It won’t be a big auction this time with only 73 slots there to be filled by the eight franchises and 29 of them can be foreign buys.
In India, if cricket is a religion, then the IPL is its most popular cult, the biggest cricket tournament in the world that can change lives forever. Like all cults, it can get messy. Sex, drugs, match-fixing – the IPL has seen it all.
Yet it remains, a fast-track to the Indian team. And that makes the auction the entry gate to that heaven which begins today in Kolkata. Today’s the day that can make or break a player’s career. It can add an amount to his bank balance that he never thought fathomable. It can also destroy reputations, a final hammer blow to a fading star’s career. The final nail in the coffin.