Mumbai, Feb 8: IPL auction's secret tie-breaker rule devised by the founder of the million dollar baby, the former IPL commissioner, has been the topic of discussion since the auction was held at Bangalore on Saturday (Feb 4, 2012).
One of the eight franchises made it clear that, former IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi devised such a rule for Mumbai Indians to get Windies player Kieron Pollard, in the year 2010.
Lalit Modi has said tie-breaker was meant to level the field in the IPL to an English News Channel on Tuesday.
"The tiebreaker only came in because, how do you determine when you have a fixed purse for the tournament. And this is well researched, that you reach the cap and still two teams are bidding, secret tie-breaker came as a penalty clause where the team actually pays back a higher fee but it goes back to the BCCI, which is then used to offset other player costs," Modi said.
"But the objective, again, was to make it equal. All bidders get an equal opportunity to buy a player."
While the franchise, differed from Modi's views, as one of them confirm that there has been favouritism in the IPL.
"There has been favouritism in the sense, if you create a rule like the tiebreaker, you know it favours only certain franchises. That rule was made by Modi himself. The tiebreak rule was made for Mumbai Indians to get Kieron Pollard in the auction." an official told a leading cricket website ESPN Cricinfo.
During the auction, if more than one franchise bids the maximum permissable amount for a player, then it goes into a secret tie-breaker, which invites the competing franchises to submit secret bids in a sealed envelope while the highest bidder gets the player.
Though the value of the secret bid is not disclosed while the amount in excess of the auction goes to the BCCI and not to the player.
So far, three players have been bought using this rule. During the 2010 auction, more than one franchises made the maximum open-auction bid -$750,000 for Pollard and Shane
Bond. Mumbai Indians, quoted the maximum bid, as they got Pollard while it was the same with Kolkata Knight Riders as they managed to get Shane Bond.
After two years, in the auction for the fifth edition, Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers quoted the maximum open-auction bids for Ravindra Jadeja which was eventually won by Chennai Super Kings after they sealed their secret bids.
Contradicting to Modi's views, one of the franchises has said, there are instances of Modi altering the rules and regulations in the case of selecting the players who were forgiven after their bans. 'The original idea being, there would be a draft pick', wherein the franchise with the poorest record would get the first pick.
'But instead of the stated rule, Modi said, anyone can pick anyone', which created a flutter as Mumbai immediately picked R Satish, Ambati Rayudu and Ali Murtaza, who played very well for Mumbai in the first three editions of the IPL.
The franchise clearly said, two significant changes in the rules which favoured big teams happened during Modi's time.
"If you ask me, if the system favours Mumbai or Chennai, yes wherever it can. For example if there is a rule that Rs 30 lakhs is the limit (for uncapped domestic players) to come and sign whoever you want, you knew that players would be signed by the big guys and they would pay obscene amounts under the table for the players they wanted. But to say that is cheating, is not correct," the official said, to counter Modi's claims in his recent interview to CNN IBN on Tuesday.
Modi had said, IPL was fair and open during his time, IPL rules were modified to favour a few teams, he also quoted Flintoff's sale to Chennai, as IPL 2 auction was rigged.
With countering comments from one of the eight franchises creating waves, it remains to be seen if Modi's claims were true.