TNIE Exclusive: Big auction, Ahmedabad IPL franchise next year
CHENNAI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), apart from informing IPL franchises to prepare for a full-fledged player auction next year, has also told them to welcome a ninth team. While the IPL Governing Council has not discussed this formally, multiple franchises told this daily there have been informal discussions and a formal decision is expected soon.
A player auction was scheduled ahead of the 2021 season, but with the current edition finishing on Tuesday, there were doubts if there would be enough time.
Some franchises were in favour of delaying it by a year as there is only a six-month gap between the 2020 edition and the one in 2021.
However, it is understood that over the past week, there have been developments. It is learnt the BCCI is planning to have the auction in January or mid-February so that franchises get time to plan ahead of the 2021 edition, which will start in the last week of March.
A franchise official informed that the BCCI was initially looking at deferring the auction by a year, but since a corporate giant is keen on buying a team, it has become necessary to hold it.
“The BCCI has told us to be prepared for an auction in a couple of months. Though it is not official, that they have asked us to be ready means they will go ahead as planned. Moreover, with a new team coming in, it makes sense to have an auction now rather than deferring it by a year,” a franchise official said.
It is understood that the ninth team will be from Ahmedabad and the corporate house is keen on making the new Sardar Patel Stadium its home.
While the auction is more or less finalised, there is no clarity on player retention. In the big auction which happens once in three years, teams were allowed to retain up to four players. A right-to-match card is also available.
“The retention policy should continue even if a new team comes in because at this stage, it won’t be wise to have all players in the auction pool. Teams will have to compromise on brand value which is built on their star players,” said another franchise official.