Bangalore:Lalit Modi maybe somewhere far far away from the empire called the Indian Premier League (IPL) that he created three years ago. But the IPL bandwagon hasn't stopped because of his absence. As many as 350 players will go under the hammer in the mega auction in Bangalore over the next two days.
The 90 million dollars auction involving 10 franchises is a big-ticket event of the cricketing world. (Watch: The hot picks)
And the dynamic duo of cricket and Bollywood will join hands again to make merry in the blockbuster, known as the IPL. (Pics: Hot properties)
The lead up to the auction hasn't been the smoothest. In fact the auction itself was in doubt after two teams - Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals - were given termination notices by the BCCI for alleged breaches in agreement.
With two new franchises in the fray, the bidding war is expected to be fiercer than before.
While some inclusions in the auction list are surprising, some withdrawals were perhaps expected.
Shah Rukh Khan will give the auction a miss, but his franchise is apparently not too keen on buying their captain and icon player Sourav Ganguly again.
Only 12 players across five franchises have been retained. That includes the likes of Sachin and Dhoni. The rest will go back into the auction pool now that their three-year contracts are over.
Of course this year the auction will be missing the man who used to hold it together every year. And in Lalit Modi's absence, you can certainly expect a few surprises.