The IPL will not hold an auction for the 2021 edition of the event as there will be little time for it
MUMBAI: BCCI will not host the mega auction of cricketers as scheduled ahead of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Covid-19 has ensured that the auction, which would’ve seen all franchises rebuild their teams, almost from scratch, is being postponed indefinitely for now.
TOI understands that there may be no auction at all ahead of next year’s IPL and franchises will most likely make do with the existing set of players barring last minute replacements in the wake of injury or unavailability.
The 13th edition will conclude on November 10, following which the BCCI-IPL will have only four-and-half months to begin with the 14th. The board intends to allot a similar window as this year – stretching in excess of 50 days to host 60 matches – and make up for what the stakeholders are losing out on this season.
Franchises too agree with the board’s line of thought that there won’t be enough time and space available for teams to rebuild because of the following elements:
a) Restructuring of auction purse – presently at Rs 85 cr per year
b) Entering into a contract with Indian and overseas players to put together a comprehensive auction list – a time-consuming process
c) Allowing franchises time to prepare for the bidding – teams usually take 4-6 months to figure out auction strategies
d) Any kind of brand activation – once new players are on board.
“What’s the point in doing a mega auction now and not have enough time to plan it properly? IPL might as well go ahead and finish the 2021 edition of the tournament and then see how it wants to go about,” said a source.
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, among other team owners, is believed to have a similar view. Khan, in fact, raised the subject at the recent meeting of franchise owners and most team owners and executives were learnt to be in agreement.
The move, expected to be discussed and ratified in the coming weeks, should throw light on what exactly will the BCCI’s ‘POA’ look like over the next 12-18 months.
To start the 2021 IPL early, BCCI will need to curb the window they allot to the series against England early next year. England are scheduled to arrive in India by mid-January (in case they need to quarantine) to play a T20, Test and ODI series. “Technically, BCCI will have not more than 40-45 odd days to conclude the entire England tour, so one can expect a reduction in the number of Tests,” say those tracking developments.
India are also expected to play a series in Sri Lanka post the 2021 IPL followed by the Asia Cup – both tournaments got postponed this year because of Covid – and will then host the T20 WC in September-October as scheduled.