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Maxwell, Cummins, Morris part of second set at IPL auction

Final auction list trimmed to 332 players including 24 new names

Glenn Maxwell brought out all the shots  •  AFP

Glenn Maxwell brought out all the shots  •  AFP

Allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris, as well as fast bowler Pat Cummins are all expected to fetch big money as part of the second set of players at the 2020 IPL auction, scheduled for December 19 in Kolkata. The auction, a one-day affair, will kick off with a set of seven batsmen which includes Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan and Robin Uthappa.
On Wednesday, the IPL sent the eight franchises the final list of players, which has been trimmed from the original 971 to 332, including 19 Indian capped players. The final list also includes 24 new players that were added after those names were requested by the franchises.
The two-dozen strong new list includes West Indies pacer Kesrick Williams, senior Australian journeyman Dan Christian, legspinner Adam Zampa, former Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, and 21-year-old Surrey batsman Will Jacks, who had smoked a 25-ball century in a pre-season T10 match against Lancashire in the UAE.
The players have been grouped as per their specialty, with the auction order starting with batsmen, allrounders, wicketkeeper-batsmen, fast bowlers and spinners. The auction will commence with different sets of capped players followed by the uncapped players.
A total of 73 slots are available for the eight teams to fill up, 29 of which could be overseas players. Although most franchises would be aiming to plug some gaps and looking out for back-up for key slots, some of the bigger names will be optimistic about securing a hefty payday.
Maxwell tops that list. He was among the seven players - along with Cummins, Josh Hazlewood Mitchell Marsh, Dale Steyn, and Angelo Mathews - to list their base price at the maximum of INR 2 crore (US $279,000 approximately). In October, Maxwell had taken an indefinite break from international cricket to tackle mental health issues and made a successful return to club cricket in November. Maxwell, who has featured for three IPL franchises previously, opted out of the IPL auction last year to focus on the World Cup and the Ashes.
As far as the Indians are concerned, most of the attention will be on Uthappa, who has listed his base price at INR 1.5 cr ($209,000 approx). Uthappa has been part of the Kolkata Knight Riders for several years and had even been retained through the right-to-match card option during the 2018 auction. However, the diminishing returns from Uthappa, a 2007 World T20 winner, meant the franchise decided to release him.
One man who might fancy going for big money once again is Saurashtra and India left-arm fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat. This week, Unadkat led Saurashtra to victory in the first round of the Ranji Trophy with a match-winning performance against Himachal Pradesh. Unadkat became the most expensive Indian player at the last auction (December 2018) after Rajasthan Royals paid INR 8.4 cr.
Incidentally Unadkat had a base price then of INR 1.5 cr. This time, he has listed his reserve price at INR 1 cr ($139,000 approx).

Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo