Why is there another IPL auction?
Why is there a player auction this year? Didn't the franchises just create new teams through an auction last year?
The IPL has held smaller, supplementary auctions in the past (2010). This particular auction was also necessitated by the termination of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise. Roughly half the players who were signed by the franchise have been included in this auction so other teams have a chance to pick them up. Among those who turned out for the Tuskers and are in the auction are VVS Laxman, Mahela Jayawardene, Ravindra Jadeja, Muttiah Muralitharan and Brendon McCullum.
The rest of the pool is made up of players who were undrafted last year and those who have decided to come forward this year e.g. Graeme Swann and Stuart MacGill. In all there are 144 players from 11 countries in the auction.
What happened to the Kochi Tuskers franchise?
The Kochi Tuskers Kerala IPL franchise was terminated in September 2011 by the BCCI for breaching its terms of agreement. The trigger for the decision was the franchise's inability to furnish a new bank guarantee for 2011. It is understood that the deadline for the franchise to submit the bank guarantee was March 26, 2011. So the BCCI felt it had every right to terminate the contract once the franchise had failed to produce it.
What happens to the Kochi Tuskers Kerala players who are not in the auction, or those who aren't bought by any of the other teams?
As far as payment goes, the BCCI says it has guaranteed that it will honour the contracts with the Tuskers and pay the players who are not signed by other teams. If a player is signed, the board says it will also make up any difference between the value of the player's new contract and his old one. However, those players that remain unsold will miss out on playing in the IPL.
What happens to the players signed as replacements last year e.g. Chris Gayle? Do the teams retain them or do they go into the auction?
Franchises have the first right of refusal for players signed as replacements. So Royal Challengers Bangalore were able to sign Chris Gayle to a new contract worth $550,000 before the auction. Had they not done so, he would have been in the auction. Other players who have signed in this way include Sourav Ganguly, who was retained by Pune Warriors for $400,000, and David Miller, who was retained by Kings XI Punjab.
How much money can the teams spend at the auction?
Each team can spend up to $2 million at the auction. However, those teams that have chosen to retain their replacement players from last season will have their auction budget reduced by the value of their contract with that player. So, since Pune Warriors re-signed Sourav Ganguly for $400,000, they will have $1.6 million to spend at the auction.
If two teams bid the maximum amount for a player, how does the IPL decide who gets the player?
The IPL relies on a tie-breaker to decide who gets the player. The franchises that have submitted the maximum bid must then submit a blind cheque to the BCCI. The franchise that provides the biggest cheque gets to keep the player. The money, which is undisclosed, goes to the BCCI and does not count against the salary cap.
Have there been any changes to the team composition rules for this auction?
Yes. The allowed squad size for each team has been increased from 30 to 33, with 11 foreign players per squad, up one from the previous limit of 10. However, the number of foreign players that can be part of the final XI remains four.
Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo