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'Secret tiebreak rule helped some franchises'

Nagraj Gollapudi

February 7, 2012

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Kieron Pollard is happy man after taking a catch in the deep, Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2011, Mumbai, May 2, 2011
Mumbai Indians bought Kieron Pollard after bidding an undisclosed sum during the secret tiebreaker at the 2010 player auction © Associated Press
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The secret tiebreaker rule in the IPL player auction was devised by Lalit Modi, the former IPL chairman, and benefited Mumbai Indians during the 2010 auction, an official from one of the original eight IPL franchises has said.

The official's comments were made to ESPNcricinfo after Modi, during an interview to Indian television channel CNN IBN, said the tiebreaker was meant to level the field in the IPL. When asked why the tie-breaker had to be kept secret, Modi chose not to answer the question.

"The tiebreaker only came in because, how do you determine when you have a fixed purse for the tournament. And this is well researched, that you reach the cap and still two teams are bidding, secret tie-breaker came as a penalty clause where the team actually pays back a higher fee but it goes back to the BCCI, which is then used to offset other player costs," Modi said. "But the objective, again, was to make it equal. All bidders get an equal opportunity to buy a player."

The secret tie breaker became a high-earning option for the BCCI as compared to the others - a draw of lots or the toss of a coin - in the case of two teams hitting the League's player's salary cap during an auction. The competing franchises are invited to submit secret bids in a sealed envelope, and the highest bidder gets the player. The value of the secret bids are not disclosed and the amount in excess of the maximum open-auction bid goes to the BCCI and not the player.

The franchise official said the field had not been level even during Modi's time as IPL chief as the secret tie-breaker could usually benefit teams with deeper pockets. "The truth is, has there been favouritism in the IPL? Of course there has been," the official told ESPNcricinfo. "There has been favouritism in the sense, if you create a rule like the tiebreaker, you know it favours only certain franchises. That rule was made by Modi himself and Mumbai Indians were able to get Kieron Pollard in the auction."

So far only three players have been bought via this rule. In the 2010 auction, more than one franchise made the maximum open-auction bid - $750,000 - for Pollard and Shane Bond. During the tiebreakers, Mumbai made the winning bid for Pollard while Kolkata Knight Riders bought Bond. In the 2012 auction on February 4, Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers bid their entire purse - $2 million - for Ravindra Jadeja, forcing the sale to be decided via a tiebreaker, which was won by Chennai.

The franchise official also pointed out another example of Modi altering regulations, in the case of the selection of Indian Cricket League players, who were given amnesty after their bans. "The original idea was that there would be draft pick," the official said, explaining that the franchise with the poorest record would get the first pick. "But instead, Modi said anyone can pick anyone. Mumbai Indians immediately picked R Sathish, Ambati Rayudu and Ali Murtuza, who played a significant part for Mumbai in the first three years. Two of the most significant rule changes, which favoured big teams, happened during Modi's time.

During the interview Modi targeted the BCCI president N Srinivasan, who is also the managing director of India Cements, the company that owns the Super Kings. Modi alleged Srinivasan was bending rules to suit Super Kings' needs. While the official ESPNcricinfo spoke to said the rules did favour the bigger franchises, he said it was not cheating.

"If you ask me, if the system favours Mumbai or Chennai, yes wherever it can. For example if there is a rule that Rs 30 lakhs is the limit (for uncapped domestic players) to come and sign whoever you want, you knew that players would be signed by the big guys and they would pay obscene amounts under the table for the players they wanted. But to say that is cheating, is not correct."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (February 10, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

@satish619chandar - I see nothing wrong in giving them that exemption since the Mumbai team was helpless at that stage with those last minute injuries. They didn't even have any other contracted domestic players that could have come in as replacements...... What would you have suggested in that situation?? Ask Mumbai to withdraw from the tournament? That would be so unfair and would affect the whole tournament...... In BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) each team is allowed to field a maximum of 5 foreign players.. I know its not related to this controversy, but just saying.

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (February 10, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

"Mumbai Indians immediately picked R Sathish, Ambati Rayudu and Ali Murtuza, who played a significant part for Mumbai in the first three years" CORRECTION - These 3 players first played for Mumbai Indians only in 2010.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

So many revelations one after the other show just how much is hidden to the public eye in the functioning of not just IPL but also BCCI. They need to be brought under the RTI Act to make any kind of sense about how they function - but BCCI wont allow THAT, would it? Even after so shamelessly stating in court that the Indian Team does not represent India, but BCCI. They should, in that case call the team the BCCI mens' Team or something like that and not India!! They use the name of the country to fill their pockets - crooks every single one of them!!

Posted by cricdeep on (February 8, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Great things happening with indian cricket. The team is getting thrashed in Aus, BCCI is getting snubbed by sponsors and IPL 5 is on its way to a big disaster. Indian cricket had reached its pinnacle with the world cup win, and now it is only fitting that it comes down crashing. IPL is a big joke for all the other boards and the foreign players come here, praise India and Indians and laughs all the way to the bank. The sooner IPL becomes extinct the better for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

IPL is a tournament for the rich, and by the rich and so its rules always favours the rich. Kochi who delayed the payments were aed, and the Royals an Kings who demurred about the logic of paying same amount for less no of matches, were also shown the door but they went to court and got it overturned. IPL is for Ambani and Srinivasan who seem to be having very deep pockets. But both Ambani and Srinivasan are businessmen, and they will surely aim to make more than they put in in the end.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

The Great IPL......??? Can you Please tell me where IPL and CLT20 stand without Pakistani Players. I need to know that 2 time T20 finalist and 1 time champion the best time in T20 has no Players in CLT20. A intersting fact is that the BCCI don't wants to include Players like SHAHID AFRIDI, UMER GUL, ABDUR RAZZAK, MOHAMMED HAFEEZ, SHOAIB AKHTAR, WAHAB RIAZ, KAMRAN AKMAL, UMER AKMAL and plenty of more.....????? I hope that the dice will roll for PAKISTANI Players as well in the next coming audition and AZHAR MEHMOOD along with IMRAN TAHIR will perform well in this audition...!!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (February 8, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Bruisers : Agree with first two.. But how about the injured SK Yadav scoring 175 next day in local 3 day match? Was he not IPL fit? In any case, playing 5 players shouldn't be allowed.. They could have been free to sign any Indian player who was not in contract with other IPL teams.. 5 foreigners was a unnecessary one..

Posted by Bruisers on (February 8, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

@mosursubramaniankailash - Johnson is completely out of form. I was actually surprised he found a buyer. As far as Pollard is concerned, Mumbai bid more for him in the tie-breaker than any other franchise. The other franchise owners were also shown the bidding amount. So nothing fishy there.. In 2011 CLT20, Mumbai had several of their Indian players injured, so much so that they were left with just about 6-7 Indian players with whom they couldn't properly form a team. Therefore they were given the exemption for the group stages. But in the semifinals and finals the actual 4-overseas-players rule was applied for them as one of their injured Indian players recovered from his injury.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Soon Others will release players/ sell teams. IPL will loose its charm... Back to international cricket

Posted by mosursubramaniankailash on (February 8, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

I always believed that the IPL bidding is/was a set up. Though players play their heart out, the team formation looks like an arranged marriage....Why was mumbai allowed to play 5 foreign players in Champions league? How mumbai got mitchel jonson for the base price? How pollard went to mumbai?..... IPL team owners have invested millions of dollars in IPL, They want their team to win the tournament at-least once for them to make both ends meet....The IPL organising committee would see to that all the teams win in certain way.....This is no rocket science.....

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