IPL 2014 February 11, 2014

The playing field at the player auction

ESPNcricinfo staff

IPL auction overview: Players, purse and strategy

Big picture

The 2014 IPL auction will be held Bangalore on February 12 and 13, the seventh auction but the third in which the franchises will have to build their teams largely from scratch.

In the inaugural auction in 2008, most of the franchises had only a marquee player each around whom to form their teams. Ahead of the 2011 shake-up, when player contracts expired and two new teams were added, teams were allowed to retain up to four players ahead of the auction. This year, to preserve the core of their teams, franchises were allowed to retain up to five players and given a 'Right to Match' card to buy back some more of their players during the auction.

The auction purse in 2008 was $5 million. In 2011 it was $9 million. In 2014, the auction purse will be in Indian rupees for the first time; teams have INR 60,00,00,000 ($10 million approximately) to spend on their squads. Not only is the purse deeper than in previous mega-auctions, so is the pool of players to choose from with the addition of uncapped Indian players to the auction list.

A total of 514 players - 219 capped, 295 uncapped - will be part of the 2014 auction. They have been pooled into two sets of marquee players, which will be up for sale first, and subsequent sets according to their skills: batsman, wicketkeeper, fast bowler, spinner, allrounder. The sets - 53 in total - for capped and uncapped players are separate.

The rules

Squad composition: In previous years, the maximum size of an IPL squad has been as many as 33 players. In 2014 the franchises need to build squads of at least 16 players but no more than 27. They may buy a maximum of nine overseas players. There is no requirement that an IPL squad must contain players from the franchise's catchment area.

Cost and contract: Every IPL franchise must spend at least INR 36,00,00,000 ($6 million approximately) on its squad at the 2014 auction and the next two seasons. Every player bought at the 2014 auction will be on a one-year contract with the franchise having the option to extend the term for two more years.

Player retention: In the lead-up to the auction franchises were allowed to retain up to five players - of which no more than four could be capped Indians - from their 2013 squads. For each player retained, a certain amount was deducted from the team's auction purse irrespective of whether that was the salary agreed by the franchise and the player. A franchise that retained five capped players - like Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians did - will have a balance of INR 21,00,00,000 ($ 3.5 million) to buy a minimum of 11 players at the auction.

Right to Match cards: None of the previous auctions had this feature. A Right to Match card allows a franchise to buy back a player that was part of its 2013 squad by simply matching the price at which that player is sold at the auction. The franchises have a varying number of Right to Match cards going into the auction, depending on the number of players they retained. A team that retained three or more players will have one card at the auction; a team that retained one or two players will have two cards; a team that did not retain any players will have three cards.

A Right to Match card can be used in the following manner: once the auctioneer has determined that there are no further bids for a player, he will declare the player sold. He will then ask the franchise the player belonged to in 2013 whether they wish to buy him back using a Right to Match card. If they do, then they will get the player back for the final bid made in the auction and no further bidding is possible.

However, a franchise may retain no more than four capped Indian players through a combination of player retention and Right to Match cards.

The playing field

This is how the IPL franchises are placed in terms of players retained and purse remaining going into the auction.

Chennai Super Kings
Players retained: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Dwayne Bravo
Auction purse remaining: Rs 21,00,00,000 ($3.5 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 1 (not eligible for capped India players)

Delhi Daredevils
Players retained: None
Auction purse remaining: Rs 60,00,00,000 ($10 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 3

Kings XI Punjab
Players retained: David Miller, Manan Vohra
Auction purse remaining: Rs 43,50,00,000 ($7.25 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 2

Kolkata Knight Riders
Players retained: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine
Auction purse remaining: Rs 38,00,00,000 ($6.33 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 2

Mumbai Indians
Players retained: Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu
Auction purse remaining: Rs 21,00,00,000 ($3.5 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 1

Rajasthan Royals
Players retained: Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny
Auction purse remaining: Rs 22,50,00,000 ($3.75 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 1

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Players retained: Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers
Auction purse remaining: Rs 30,50,00,000 ($5.08 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 1

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Players retained: Shikhar Dhawan, Dale Steyn
Auction purse remaining: Rs 38,00,00,000 (($6.33 million)
Right-to-match cards available: 2