Indian Premier League 2010 January 17, 2010

IPL auction may employ 'silent tiebreaker bid'

An important question ahead of Tuesday's IPL auction is: If there are equal bids for a player, how do you break the deadlock? After weeks of uncertainty, the league has finally devised a 'silent tiebreaker bid' that, according to the organisers, would end the impasse. The proposal, though, has met with objections from various franchises.

The method may be used in a scenario where a player has attracted the maximum bid - each franchise has a cap of US$750,000 in total to spend at the auction - from more than one franchise. The franchises would then have to put in a separate, additional bid - to which there will be no cap - to break the tie. Whoever submits the higher additional bid will get the player. However, the controversial part is that the additional amount would go to the IPL and not the player.

To simplify the new rule: take an example where two teams are bidding for a player at $750,000. Both would then be asked to submit a fresh bid. In case one of the two submits a new bid of $800,000, the player still receives $750,000 and the additional $50,000 goes to the IPL.

Understandably, the franchises are reluctant to shell out more money, especially when they know the investment would last only till the end of the year. The proposal was suggested to the franchises on Saturday but most of them objected because they strictly do not want to spend more than the $750,000 purse available to them for the auction on January 19.

"Most of the franchises are not at all happy with it and objected to the proposal on the basic principle that the sanctity of the purse must be protected," a franchise official told Cricinfo.

His suggestion, echoed by few other franchises, to resolve the issue was there should be a lucky draw. "If there are equal competing bids, then you draw lots".

However, Lalit Modi, on his Twitter page made it clear that the tie-breaker rule "will be enforced". "It's part of the 2010 IPL auction rules, so anyone not agreeing is a non-issue."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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