While the Justice Mukul Mudgal report on betting and fixing has cast a long shadow over the Indian Premier League (IPL), some of biggest names in world cricket are slated to go under the hammer here on Wednesday at the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction that could produce a young millionaire or two.
Though the Mudgal Committee report, made public on Monday, is basically a preliminary finding, it nevertheless casts aspersions that cannot be wished away. That, however, does not preclude some 514 players getting into the ring for the multi-crore bidding process that will shape the eight IPL teams.
Though players of strong and proven credentials like Jacques Kallis, Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Yuvraj Singh are in the fray, indications are that the teams might be more tempted to opt for the young and talented rather those in the twilight of their careers.
Among the most talked about players is 23-year-old New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson whose recent exploits, notably a world record 36-ball ODI century against the West Indies, have projected him as a "hot buy". Chances are that he might end up becoming a millionaire in the next 24 hours.
With IPL completing five seasons, the eight teams were allowed to retain a maximum of five players, something that only Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals opted for while Delhi Daredevils preferred to release its entire squad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore preferred to retain three as against two each by Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Those retained include Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Dwayne Bravo (CSK); Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Ambatti Rayudu, Rohit Sharma and Harbhajan Singh (MI); Stuart Binny, James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and Shane Watson (RR); AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (RCB); David Miller, Manan Vohra (KXIP); Shikhar Dhawan and Dale Steyn (SH).
This is the first IPL auction where the bidding will be done in Indian rupees (INR) with a total of Rs.274.50 crore available across eight teams. Uncapped Indian players will be making their debut in the auction.
The 514-strong list features 219 capped players (169 Indians and 50 overseas players) and 292 uncapped players (255 Indians and 37 overseas players). There are also three players from Associate Nations, namely Niall and Kevin O'Brien from Ireland and Ryan Ten Doeschate from the Netherlands.
The proceedings will commence at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and will be conducted by Richard Madley, who has been associated with the auction since the inaugural season in 2008.