Mitchell Starc has opted out of the IPL players auction for the second consecutive season. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The IPL 2020 player auction, which will be held in Kolkata on December 19, has seen a total of 971 players register for the event. There are a total of 73 spots available after the release of players by the IPL franchises. Prior to the auction, there was a trade-off window where teams traded players from one franchise to another, notable among them was Ravichandran Ashwin being traded to Delhi Capitals while Ajinkya Rahane was transferred to Mumbai Indians from Delhi Capitals. The composition of the 971 players are 713 Indian players and 258 overseas players. The breakup of the 971 players includes 215 capped players, 754 uncapped players and two from associate nations. The two players from associate nations are from the USA and Netherlands.
The maximum number of players registered from one country is 55 from Australia while South Africa is a close second with 54. Sri Lanka has 39 players registered while West Indies have 34 players registered for the auction. New Zealand and England have 24 and 22 players registered for the auction while Bangladesh have just six. Afghanistan have 19 players, indicating their rising demand while Zimbabwe complete the list with three players. Franchises will now have time until 9th December to submit their shortlist of players that will make up the final auction list, where the auctioneer will once again be Hugh Edmeades. This is the first time that the auction will be held in Kolkata.
However, the auction will see some notable exclusions and some prominent returns. Glenn Maxwell, who had opted out of the IPL 2019 Auction as he was committed to the national team for World Cup duties, has thrown his name into the pool while the auction will not see Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc and England Test skipper Joe Root. Starc last featured in the IPL in 2015 while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In 2018, Starc was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 9.4 crore but could not feature in the tournament. In 2019, the left-arm pacer opted out of the tournament due to World Cup and Ashes commitment.
Root, on the other hand, was not picked in the IPL Auction last year and this year, he has made himself unavailable. However, both Starc and Root are part of 'The 100', a new format devised by the ECB.
There are seven foreign players in the Rs 2 crore bracket, with Starc's fellow Australian speedster Pat Cummins in that list. Along with Cummins, the other players in the highest bracket are Chris Lynn, Josh Hazlewood, Maxwell, Dale Steyn, Angelo Mathews and Mitchell Marsh. The other prominent players in the Rs 1.5 crore list are Robin Uthappa, the only Indian in the list. Shaun Marsh, Eoin Morgan, Kane Richardson, Chris Morris, Kyle Abbott, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and David Willey.
The focus, though, will be on the upcoming talent in the Indian domestic players. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Priyam Garg, who impressed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and are in the Under-19 World Cup squad for the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, are expected to fetch big bucks in the auction. Along with the youngsters, other players who impressed in the local leagues like the Tamil Nadu Premier League and Karnataka Premier League are also expected to fetch big numbers in the auction. M Shahrukh Khan and Devdutt Padikkal might also get snapped up by franchises as they look to boost the existing talent pool in the Indian domestic system to newer heights.