Over 1,000 IPL hopefuls nominate for upcoming auction; 36 at the maximum base price

Following the nominations for the IPL auction, clubs will now have a record number of players from which to build their lists ahead of the 2018 IPL season. Of these, 13 Indian and 23 overseas players have nominated with a base price of INR 2 crore, or over USD$315,000. Clubs wishing to purchase these players will now need to pay a minimum of this price if they wish to secure their services.

How does the draft work?

The IPL auction is scheduled to take place over two days, on the 27th and 28th of January. Teams will have more choice than ever in a league which is developing at an incredible rate, with a huge 1122 players nominating for this year’s auction. Of these, 838 have never played in the IPL before.

Players nominate for the auction with a base price of their own choosing. Effectively, this price is the minimum price for which they can be purchased. Those who have nominated for the auction with the maximum base price are in for a huge pay day, as, presuming they are selected, they will receive a minimum of USD$315,000 - though many will receive much, much more.

Last year, for example, Ben Stokes received USD$2.16 million to play for Rising Pune Super. Virat Kohl, Indian Test Captain and star of Royal Challengers Bangalore, received a massive USD$2.5 million last season.

Expect the biggest earners to receive even more lucrative deals this year. A new broadcast rights agreement for 2018-2022 was reached earlier this year, and was valued at just over USD$2.5 billion. The salary cap for each team has subsequently been increased to just under USD$2.3 million, allowing them to pay their biggest stars even more.

Who are likely to be the biggest earners?

Of the 36 players to list their base price at the maximum, 13 are from India and 23 are from overseas nations. Ben Stokes, as one of last year’s biggest earners, was unsurprisingly one of them, and could be in for yet another huge pay deal, despite his lack of practice since his suspension following a nightclub brawl in September 2017.

Chris Gayle is another player of interest who has listed his price at the maximum. The enigmatic West Indian earned over USD$1.3 million last season, and though he is far from the most consistent performer in world cricket, he has proven match winning ability and is one of the biggest hitters going around.

Gautam Gambhir, previously the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, was surprisingly not retained by the franchise after a season in which he earned over $USD1.57 million. He will be hoping for a big pay day at the auction, after nominating at the maximum base price.

Among the others listed at the maximum price are Ravichandrin Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Glenn Maxwell and Brendon Mccullum. Players with this much talent are sure to receive lucrative contracts, but with well over 1,000 players nominating for the draft, many will be left disappointed.

Last season, for example, Ishant Sharma listed his base price at the maximum, and went unsold. This is the predicament in which many players find themselves - wanting to extract maximum value from their deal, while also ensuring they actually get picked for the tournament.

Every year, the IPL grows incrementally bigger, and the latest broadcast deal will contribute monumentally to its continual growth. The list of world class players not putting their hand up to play is getting smaller and smaller, as the lure of enormous amounts of money is proving too strong. Joe Root, English Test Captain, will this year hope to make his IPL debut, joining a list of players which makes this league such compelling viewing.

A quick perusal of the list of nominated players reads like a who’s who of world cricket. As players continue to hone their T20 skills, understandable given the unfathomable amounts of money now available to specialists in the shortest format, we will continue to be treated to an ever-improving standard of cricket. The quality of players involved means this year’s IPL shapes up as one of the best, and is sure to attract the interest of cricket fans around the globe.