The 2014 edition of IPL auction was always going to be intriguing. As is the norm, at the end of three consecutive years each team could retain only three of their existing players. The rest would all go under the hammer. But, what actually makes the auction this year so much more interesting is the subtle turmoil that is prevalent in the International cricketing circles today.
Gautum Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, and Yuvraj Singh have not been exactly the pillars of Indian cricket over the past year or so, as they had been for over a decade. Bad form, fallout with existing members of the Board and bad health have been some of the reasons behind this gradual transition. However, they are big names for sure with a proven track record and their auction was much anticipated. Gambhir was retained by the KKR and his name was hence excluded from the list of available players. This led to a huge furore amongst the cricketing circles as to whether he is worth the price. KKR, however, have gone on records to state that they fully back Gambhir and have no doubt that he will be back to his brilliant best this season. Yuvraj Singh has not impressed the score keepers for a long time now. Inspite of that, defying all odds, he has turned out to be the most expensive cricketer in the auction till now. Yuvraj was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the unbelievable sum of 14 Crores. No surprise then, when Yuvraj sent a tweet to Virat Kohli asking him, “What times the Gangnam”!
— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) February 12, 2014
Even Virender Sehwag was sold to Kings’s XI Punjab for a handsome price of 3.2 Crores. Given Sehwag’s recent slump in form and patchy performances in the Ranji, this should come as a big shot in the arm for him.
Even if we turn away from Indian Cricket for a moment and focus our attention at some of the other big names from around the world, there seems to be a distinct pattern. Kevin Petersen was recently dropped from the English squad, following the Ashes debacle. So, when his name came up for the bid everyone was wondering which way would this go. But, following the tide, he turned out to be the third most expensive player in the bid. He would render his services to Delhi Daredevils for a steep price of 9 Crores. The ECB said that they have taken the decision to omit Petersen from the current squad because they ‘have to look towards the future’. Well, going by the sum which DD have agreed to shell out for Petersen, they clearly think he is the future!
So, it is pretty evident that the thought process of these IPL Mughals’ is not at all in sync with some of the Cricketing Boards around the world. The latter is no longer banking on big names. They feel youth is the way to go. The former is not yet ready to give up on their superstars. They still have immense faith in them, which alone can justify the stupendous amount of money being invested. Well, IPL is a perfect platform for the youth and experienced alike. By the end of the 2014 edition, we should be able to say which camp is heading in the right direction!