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Auctioning the “uncapped” players

Posted by RB Kollannur on January 12, 2011


The hectic IPL4 Auction is finally over. Lot of money has been spent. Now negotiations are going on to decide on the futures of the “uncapped” players, who form the backbone of an IPL team. They were earlier slated to be auctioned off along with the international players, but a late rule change by the BCCI meant that they will not be part of the IPL 4 Auction. Their reason – there were too many of them; which is a fair point considering the drab ending the auction saw in the latter half of 9 January 2011, when most of the players put on auction were of no interest to the franchisees.

BCCI then set norms for negotiations, with a three slab rate based on experience of the players in domestic cricket. The players would have freedom of choice of team, but no freedom over money. Given the demand for certain domestic players like Manish Pandey and Ambati Rayudu, there have been concerns that there will be “inducements” to get them to sign for a team. It will be a difficult task for IPL (and perhaps the Income Tax authorities) to monitor and ensure fairness in the process of signing the uncapped players.

Now, how can you ensure that the “uncapped” players will be signed on completely legitimately? Simple. By auctioning them, provided IPL chooses to do so. No. Not the entire block of 1000 odd players that BCCI feels will be eligible for “uncapped” status. Only the ones that elicit offers from multiple franchisees. This is how to go about it.

1)    Request all teams to make their offers. These offers will be limited by the budget remaining with each team post auction, the three tier slab set by BCCI for the “uncapped” players and but not the number of players each team can purchase. This will be a long list, where you can expect some players to be shortlisted to go to other another team, much like a B school short list.
2)    Conduct an auction for the players who have received multiple requests. The ones who have received only one offer are put on hold. During the auction, only the teams that have opted for these players can bid for them. For example, if RCB puts forward Manish Pandey in their “uncapped” list and no Ambati Rayudu, then RCB can bid for the former, but not the latter even if they are both in the auction. Of course, RCB can shortlist both, even if they are looking to keep Rayudu as a backup if they miss out on Pandey.
3)    Once the first round of auction is done, we turn our attention to the players who have received only one offer. If their prospective employers still have money left in their budget to sign all of them, they can do so. Otherwise, invite a second list and repeat the process till the budgets of the teams and the number of players per team are exhausted.

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