The IPL has been quite successful in all its three seasons. It was very exciting and interesting. And, now the thrill is going to rise to its peak with the auctions for the team going to happen again. Now, all franchises will be having new faces representing them. The auctions for this IPL 2011 season are scheduled to be held on January 8 and 9 in Mumbai.
The tournament will begin a week after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 ends. And, it will feature 8 teams, playing 60 matches, and run from April 8 to May 22. Each side will play 14 matches, adding up to 56 matches, the same as in previous IPL editions. The top two from the league rounds will then contest a play-off match, with the winner qualifying for the “Grand Final.” The teams that finish third and fourth in the league stage will contest the other play-off and the winner of that game will play the defeated team from the first play-off to decide the second finalist.
The auction is likely to be on the same lines as the first one which was held in 2008. The teams will be mostly starting from scratch, and will be held under rules framed in September. But, the icon player concept will no longer be followed. Earlier, five franchises had one player each named as its icon.
The auction was at first place going to happen this month. But, the uncertainty in the structure of the tournament due to expelling of two franchises and a third, Kochi, in limbo forced a postponement. The governing council, which met in Mumbai on Wednesday, was expected to reveal the status of the Kochi franchise after the meeting. But, Rajiv Shukla, a BCCI vice-president and council member, said it did not figure this out. However, he told that the 2011 season will feature eight teams. If Kochi franchise does not replies till November 27 to the IPL notice, then, Ahmedabad is the front runner for being a new franchise replacement.
The new auction rules governing player retention, which have been criticized by the franchises, allow a team to keep up to four players but at a steep price. The first player retained will cost a team $1.8 million against the salary cap of $9 million; regardless of the amount the player is actually paid. The second player will cost $1.3 million, the third $900,000 and the fourth $500,000.