New Delhi:It's a big day for cricket today. It will be raining cash on top players as the Indian Premier League (IPL) player bids have begun in Mumbai. The eight team franchise owners of the IPL will bid through the day today for 77 international cricketers who are up for grabs.
A few of the early arrivals for the bidding, who arrived at the Hilton towers included Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Vijay Mallya, Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia. It's a first of its kind, as the cricketers are auctioned off. Players have been divided into eight categories, from A to H. The A to D category players are the marquee players, who will be auctioned first and will cost the most as well. This list includes the likes of MS Dhoni, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Harbhajan Singh.
The bidding is for eight-team Twenty20 tournament to be played in April and May this year.
The top players could be earning 70 to 80 thousand dollars a week for this six weeks work. The auction will be an intranet thing.
As much as 77 of the top players in the world go under the hammer as 8 team owners try to out bid each other in the auction.
Richard Madley, auctioneer of Dreweatts Auction House says, "this is certainly the most unusual bidding that I will conduct. There will be around 84 players who will be auctioned a lot of tactical bidding is expected because one will think whether to save the money till the end or spend it on the marquee players."
An auction in New York last Saturday sold a spray painting by a graffiti artist for 1.6 million dollars. So that definitely makes the cricketers look a lot cheaper.
Each of the eight teams is allowed to spend a maximum of five million US dollars to buy their players.
Prominent international players, however, have a base price set for them.
Shane Warne's price is said to be the highest as bidding for him can only start at 400 thousand US dollars, which is about 1.6 crores.
However, the top five Indian players aren't available for the auction.
Yuvraj Singh, who is back in form, is among the five icon Indian players.
While Virender Sehwag has been added on to join Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid who have to play for their cities.
These players will be paid 15 per cent more than the highest paid player in their team.
Preity Zinta, the co-owner of the Chandigarh IPL team is delighted on Yuvraj's comeback in the form.
Therefore, Wednesday will be a high stakes day with a maximum of 40 million dollars or 160 crores being shelled out by the franchisees for their top picks.
The process is expected to take around 12 hours starting at 11 am going on to midnight.