It's all set. The Indian Premier League's D-day will be Jan 8 and 9, 2011 at Bangalore when a total of 416 players will go under the hammer in the 2011 player auction, a source within the BCCI has said. Just 12 players have been retained prior to this season's auction.
After all the commotion and drama and suspicions of a possible postponement, the auction is now set to go ahead on the slated dates and will not be in danger of clashing with the World Cup schedule. This development in turn means that sold players will be able to take part in advertising campaigns in the lead-up to the big tournament, which begins in April.
The auction dates were settled in light of the fact that the BCCI had decided not to pursue its cases with the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. The tournament will feature a total of 10 teams sharing the itinerary of 74 matches.
The upcoming season will have the largest auction pool in the League's brief history. In the inaugural year of 2008, 75 premier players were sold as M S Dhoni emerged with the highest price tag of $1.5 million. In 2009, 17 main players were sold with Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff being bid in for $1.55 million each. In the last year, 66 players were included in the auction pool with 11 making the cut, lead by Shane Bond who was sold for 750,000. It will be interesting to see how much the top players will fetch this time around.