SA20 auction longlist: Jayden Seales and Odean Smith enter at highest base price

Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, James Neesham and Chamika Karunaratne among those who have listed themselves at the second-highest base price

Odean Smith knocked the stuffing out of Tallawahs' chase, Guyana Amazon Warriors, vs Jamaica Tallawahs, CPL 2021, Basseterre, September 11, 2021

Odean Smith has played 19 T20Is and five ODIs, and is starting to become popular in the T20 franchise circuit  •  Getty Images

Jayden Seales and Odean Smith, the West Indies internationals, have listed their base price at Rand 1,750,000 (US$101,000 approx), the maximum for any player at CSA's SA20 player auction. Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, David Willey, Jimmy Neesham and Chamika Karunaratne have listed themselves at the second-highest base price of Rand 1,700,000 ($98,000 approx).
The auction longlist has 533 players, out of which 248 are from South Africa. Eleven out of those 248 - Dean Elgar, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorious, Janneman Malan, Keegan Petersen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi and Temba Bavuma - have set themselves a base price of Rand 850,000 ($49,000 approx.), the highest among South African players.
Of the 52 players who are in the Rand 850,000 ($49,000 approx.) category are Sri Lanka's Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka, England's Craig Overton and Matthew Potts, West Indies' Alzzari Joseph, Keemo Paul, Carlos Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks, Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Shahidi, Samiullah Shinwari and Karim Janat, and Ireland's Harry Tector. New Zealand's Ross Taylor, who has retired from international cricket, has also listed himself at this base price.
The final auction pool will be confirmed by CSA once it receives the wishlist from the six franchises, the deadline for which is September 8. The auction is on September 19 in Cape Town.
Fast bowler Seales is uncapped in T20Is but has proved to be effective both in the powerplay and death overs during his time with Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL and at the LPL with Jaffna Kings. He has played nine Tests and seven ODIs so far, and recently earned his first national contract. In LPL 2021, which was dominated by spinners, Seales emerged as the most prolific seamer, with 15 wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 7.81.
Smith has played 19 T20Is and five ODIs apart from playing for Punjab Kings in the IPL and a bunch of teams in the CPL, and has showcased his big-hitting both at the international and franchise levels.
Although all six franchises are owned by IPL owners, there are no Indian players on the list, because of the BCCI's policy against allowing its players to play overseas T20 leagues. Former India Under-19 captain Unmukt Chand, who announced his retirement last year, has signed up as a USA player at a base price of Rand 175,000 ($10,000 approx.). Chand began a Minor League career in the USA last year. He is also the only Indian male cricketer to feature in the Big Bash League. He played two matches for Melbourne Renegades last season.
Khaled Ahmed is the only Bangladesh player who has put his name in the auction, listing himself at a base price of Rand 175,000 ($10,000 approx.). Ben Dunk and Jerome Chinia are the only two players from Australia to have signed up.
As reported by ESPNcricinfo, there were no Pakistan players on the list. There have been suggestions that they were not picked because the franchises are owned by team owners from the IPL, where Pakistani players are, in effect, barred. But a league official, while clarifying that the league doesn't get involved in selections, said Pakistan's schedule constraints - they have home series and then the PSL this year - have played a part in their players' non-availability.
The six teams have already signed between two and five players apiece from a pool of 30 marquee players as part of the direct-acquisition process. The franchises have an overall purse of $2 million and can buy as many more players as they can, or want, with the maximum squad strength set at 17.
The money available to them at the auction will be based on what is left of the purse after acquiring the pre-auction players [the five included a maximum of three overseas players, one South Africa international, and one uncapped South Africa player]. In total, franchises will be permitted to sign up to seven international players and ten South Africans, with a view of fielding an XI with a maximum of four overseas players, the same as in the IPL.
The English contingent dominated the marquee list, with the pair of Jos Buttler (Paarl Royals) and Liam Livingstone (MI Cape Town) standing to earn up to half a million dollars each. Moeen Ali (Super Kings) is the third most expensive on the list at USD 400,000 followed by Faf du Plessis (Super Kings) at USD 350,000.