New Delhi: Controversial England batsman Kevin Pietersen will be one of the first players to go under the hammer along with senior India discards Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh when the two-day auction of the cash-rich IPL commences in Bangalore on February 12.
The biggest draw of the IPL 7 auction --- New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson has been slotted at No 83 in the 10th set which has the second array of international all-rounders.
From the initial list of 651, the IPL governing council has pruned it down to 514 with 219 capped players featuring in it. Among the 219 capped players (who have played some form of international cricket), 169 are Indians while 50 are overseas players.
This will also be the first time in IPL's history that 292 uncapped players, which has 255 Indian first-class cricketers will be auctioned.
The cricketers have been divided into 53 sets with each lists ranging from eight to 10 players. The first list that consists of some of the biggest stars of Indian and international cricket is named as Marquee 1 or M1.
While Pietersen's international career may have come to an abrupt end, the maverick England batsman will continue to be in demand as he is set to be the fourth player to be auctioned on the first day in Bangalore.
Along with Pietersen, the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj, David Warner, Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson and Mahela Jayawardene, recently retired Jacques Kallis will also go under the hammer at the first go. Murali Vijay is also present in the M1 list where all players have a base price of Rs 2 crore save Warner (Rs 1.5 crore)
The second list of marquee players or M2 as they are slotted, consists of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Australian ODI and T20 captain George Bailey, veteran speedster Zaheer Khan, South African batsman Faf Du Plessis, Australian batsman Michael Hussey and West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy to name a few.
Like in the previous years, no Pakistan players feature in the IPL list while there are a huge 28 sets slotted for the uncapped Indian and overseas players.
While young South African keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who scored a hat-trick of ODI centuries is in the first list of capped wicketkeepers (WK 1) with a base price of Rs 1 crore, flavour of the season Anderson has been slotted in the second set of international all-rounder (AL 2) at No 83.
The slotting of Anderson at 83 will mean that there will be a 'Bidding War' for the in-form burly Black Caps all-rounder as some of the teams with higher salary caps like Delhi Daredevils will have to face the might of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians as the franchises are supposed to be on even keel by then.
It's surprising that Anderson didn't find his name in the premier set of international all-rounders in which the Pathan brothers --- Irfan and Yusuf have been clubbed alongside Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who is now a British passport holder.
Set No 25, which consists of uncapped Indian batsmen, will see a bidding war with likes of Kedar Jadhav, Unmukt Chand, Vijay Zol in that list.
Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool is in Set No 27 along with Himachal Pradesh's Rishi Dhawan, who has been the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji season.
While most of the top Indian players have been retained by their franchises, Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore will be the 18th player who will be auctioned.
Some of the big draws in the specialist batsmen's category include in-form Australian batsman Aaron Finch (Rs 1 crore), the dependable Brad Hodge (Rs 2 crore), England's Eoin Morgan, West Indies' Dwayne Smith and New Zealand's Ross Taylor.
Among the list of premier fast bowlers, South Africa's Morne Morkel will be a top draw at a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. The list has Aussie left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc with the highest base price (Rs 2 crore) along with Indians Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Rs 1.5 crore), Praveen Kumar (Rs 2 crore) and Ashoke Dinda (Rs 1 crore).
Umesh Yadav (Rs 1 crore) and Ranganath Vinay Kumar (Rs 1.5 crore) can also expect to get decent deals as India do no have too many quality fast men suited for the needs of the shortest format.