Clarke and Ricky Ponting will be the biggest draws at the auction for the sixth edition of the tournament which kicked off in 2008 when Lalit Modi headed cricket’s new big thing.
Press Trust of India reported that Clarke would be on Mumbai Indians’ radar. The star-studded team which has batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar playing for them, have not officially announced their captain as of now after Harbhajan Singh expressed his desire to be relieved of the responsibility. According to ESPN Cricinfo, Tendulkar will lead the team again after opting out last year.
As many as 101 players will go under the hammer here today. Aussie Clarke played six matches for the Sahara Pune Warriors last year and there’s also a chance that he could get the leadership role at the Pune franchise in place of Yuvraj Singh. This will be Yuvraj’s first IPL after recovering from cancer.
Who’ll bet on Punter?
It will be interesting to see where Ponting is headed. Would the franchises be keen on buying a player, who is not known for his Twenty20 skills although he played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the first edition and despite the fact that he figured in Hobart Hurricanes’ squad in this year’s Big Bash League Down Under?
The formation of the Hyderabad Sun Risers team will be the highlight of the auction too. Chennai Super Kings could well buy left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh, who made a surprise return to the Indian team for the 2011 Oval Test against England. It is learnt that West Indian Ravi Rampaul could also be on the most wanted list of the teams.
Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals will enter the auction with the biggest purses (around USD 6 million). Where defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders are concerned, a senior support staff member told PTI: “We are not going into the auction aiming at a particular player, but we will definitely track the proceedings. Let’s see how it pans out and if we find a player interesting enough to put our money on, we might go for it.”