It's that time of the year again when the IPL player auction takes place. This season it will be held in Chennai on February 3 when 101 players will go under the hammer as the 9 franchisees will bid for them and build their teams. Here's everything you need to know about the auction. And I mean everything!
The basic rules of the auction
Each franchisee has a salary cap on $12.5m for their 2013 squad.
The maximum squad strength can be 33 players, which includes a maximum of 11 overseas players.
Players not bought during the auction can be signed by the franchisees as replacements for injured payers.
Few points about the auction pool
No Pakistan players feature in the list of 101 players that will be auctioned
The list includes seven Indians (Sudeep Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat, Pankaj Singh, RP Singh, Manpreet Gony , Abhishek Nayar, Wasim Jaffer)
The list also contains two Englishmen (Matt Prior, Ravi Bopara) and one Irish player (Kevin O'Brien)
Majority of the players in the auction pool are from Australia and South Africa with names from Sri Lanka and New Zealand also appearing.
Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting fetch the highest reserve price of $ 400,000.
West Indies T20 World Cup winning captain, Darren Sammy ($100,000) features in the auction for the first time.
Who are the hot buys of the auction?
One thing the past IPL auctions have thought us is that nothing is predictable. There really is no such thing as a hot buy, since the franchisees have their own visions for their teams and their own plans and sometimes you see players such as Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi who are known for their T20 skills overlooked as they were in previous editions. However one can relatively with some authority still classify certain players as hot picks and these are the players who I think will be the ones that will raise a few eyebrows and get people into a bidding frenzy.
Johan Botha (Reserve price $300,000): The South African all-rounder was released by Rajasthan Royals after a poor 2012 season but his all-round abilities are sure to be in big demand.
Michael Clarke ($400,000): Released by Pune, the Aussie skipper is another big draw, though his reserve price does raise some questions
Doug Bollinger ($200,000): He's been a star for Chennai and it was a surprise when he was released. Expect some very heavy bidding for the baby faced fats bowler.
Darren Sammy ($100,000): It might be his first auction, but he's sure to be on most of the want to buy lists.
Daniel Christian ($100,000): He hasn't had the best IPL experience, but his all-round abilities are surely in demand.
Dirk Nannes ($200,000): The ageing T20 specialist still is a force to be reckoned with.
RP Singh ($100,000): The Indian pacer hasn't been having the best of times the last two years, but his name his still on the top 5 wicket takers in the IPL and he's sure to catch a few eyes.
Abhishek Nayar ($100,000): The all-rounder was released after a dismal 2012 season, but after the out standing domestic season this year, he's bound to be a hot cake.
Watch out for...
Ricky Ponting ($400,000): It will be interesting to see if anyone picks up the aged Australian legend for the young men's game.
Martin Guptill ($100,000): He's probably New Zealand's second best batsman after Taylor and should be picked.
James Hopes ($100,000): He's played for 3 different IPL teams and might be playing in a 4th team this season.
Tino Best ($50,000): Who doesn't love this man? Not a popular pick, but keep an eye out for him.
Richard Levi ($50,000): After a blistering start to his career, he was immediately bagged by Mumbai but now that the smoke has settled, will anyone still go for this heavy hitter?
Ajantha Mendis ($50,000): Do IPL teams still think the mystery spinner is a mystery?
What to expect from the auction?
Expect the unexpected. Don't be surprised if the teams decided to overlook the obvious buy and go for some unknown player. Sometimes it is beyond comprehension and it probably is, but that's how these things work. Also don't expect the teams to go all out and bid for many players. They all would have set their eyes on a select few that will fill the holes they have in the team and it is this that the teams will be trying to fill. Plus remember they all have limit on the salary and also squad size.
How much money do the franchisees have for the auction?
Since all teams including the newly formed SunRisers Hyderabad have retained some players from their previous squads, they go into the auction with only limited spots available in the team and also with a limit on the caps. So much can each franchisee spend on the auction and how many can they buy?
Present cost of squad: $5.5m. Salary cap remaining: $7m
Present squad - Indian players: 14, Overseas players: 6
Chennai Super Kings:
Present cost of squad: $9.3m, Salary cap remaining: $3.2m
Present squad - Indian players: 9, Overseas players: 6
Present cost of squad: $10.8m, Salary cap remaining: $1.7m
Present squad - Indian players: 11, Overseas players: 7
Kings XI Punjab:
Present cost of squad: $5.3m, Salary cap remaining: $7.2m
Present squad - Indian players: 13, Overseas players: 6
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Present cost of squad: $10.4m, Salary cap remaining: $2.1m
Present squad - Indian players: 12, Overseas players: 10
Present cost of squad: $10.7m, Salary cap remaining: $1.8m
Present squad - Indian players: 20, Overseas players: 7
Pune Warriors India:
Present cost of squad: $8.5m, Salary cap remaining: $4m
Present squad - Indian players: 18, Overseas players: 6
Present cost of squad: $4.1m, Salary cap remaining: $8.4m
Present squad - Indian players: 9, Overseas players: 4
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Present cost of squad: $9.7m, Salary cap remaining: $2.8m
Present squad - Indian players: 14, Overseas players 6
You can find the complete list of the players going under the hammer here.