Why mega auction IPL: The 15th season of the IPL will be preceded by a mega auction with a purse limit of INR 90 Crore for each franchise.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is in all readiness to begin with its 15th season, coupled with the addition of two new franchises in Ahmedabad and Lucknow this time around.
With the upcoming season likely to commence from the last week of March this year, it will be preceded by a mega auction wherein the fans will witness their favourite franchises battling it out to make an ideal squad from a pool of registered players.
The initial eight franchises were provided with an option of picking a maximum of 4 players (3 Indians max. and 2 Overseas max.), while the two new entrants were given the option to draft-in a maximum of three players each.
With the aforementioned proceedings completed, all the teams’ think-tank would now sit together under a common roof to complete their overall squad via a bidding process during what is known as the mega auction, with a purse limit set at INR 90 Crore.
Why mega auction IPL? How is mega auction different from mini auction?
The prime objective of a mega auction is to create a level playing field for all the teams, where every franchise management has an equal opportunity to pick a maximum of 25 players within a set purse limit. Thus, in case a franchise fails to form a strong enough team/squad, it has the option to build the same from scratch after three seasons. However, quite a few franchises have now started to oppose the mega auction system (more on it later).
While a mini auction is held after the end of each season, a mega auction, as mentioned above, is held after every three years/seasons. During the former, a franchise can retain any number of players from their previous season squad and can then look to pick players from the ones released by the other franchises, or from a fresh pool of new players.
But, during the mega auction, franchises start afresh and anew to form their respective squads, with a set number of players allowed to be retained before the auction. While this year’s limit was set at 4 players; it was 5 (including a combination of retentions and the Right to Match cards) in the year 2018.
The RTM card can be used by a franchise during the auction, wherein they can rope in a player back to the squad despite not bidding for him. The IPL governing council has, however, done away with the RTM provision for the upcoming mega auction.
Will there be another IPL mega auction?
With the success of the IPL and an inflow of significant revenue from different sources, the franchises now own academies and also hire talent scouts to pick untapped talents from various parts of the country and groom them to compete against the best of players from around the world.
With the mega auction conducted after around three years, with a fixed number of players allowed to be retained, various franchises have now began to oppose the system.
“Directionally at this stage, if you ask me, since the league has completed 14 years, the big auction has outlived its usefulness. And you have to reward franchises investing in scouting and academies, in growth. We have done that with KKR Academy and we have our scouting structure, both domestic (and) international.
“Someone sent me a note the other day that from 2018, we have had six uncapped players who have gone to play for India. You feel very happy that we are making some contribution in that regard as well,” remarked Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore.
Although there is no official word from the BCCI or the IPL governing council on the matter for now, they would certainly have to take into consideration the suggestions from the franchises regarding the same if at all they wish to keep up with the system in the future.