Misbah, Watson and Ashraful to be auctioned

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, Australia's Shane Watson, and Mohammad Ashraful, the Bangladesh captain, are among 18 players included in the second Indian Premier League (IPL) auction to be held in Mumbai on March 11. The list is made up of seven New Zealanders, four Australians, three Pakistanis, two Bangladeshis, one Sri Lankan and South African each but no English cricketers.

The injury-prone Watson has not played for Australia since the ICC World Twenty20 in September 2007 and he has struggled during Queensland's Pura Cup campaign. He earned a recall to the national side for the CB Series but nagging leg problems forced him out again. Misbah, who was not included for the initial auction, is a big draw given his Twenty20 success in the last season.

Mohammad Yousuf and Ashwell Prince, who failed to be picked up by any of the eight franchises last month, will be auctioned again.

"There are 13 other foreign players who have shown keen interest to play in the first season," a top BCCI official told IANS. These include Shaun Tait, on a self-imposed indefinite break from cricket, Brad Hogg, who recently retired, West Indies' Dwayne Smith, and Yasir Hameed, the Pakistan batsman. Seven other Australians have also apparently expressed interest.

The IPL permits each franchise to buy more foreign players outside the list of 18 if they inform the tournament officials about who they are interested in. The IPL organisers would then negotiate the players' base prices and try and secure No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the respective country boards.

This auction is expected to be relatively smaller than the first, which was worth US$42 million. The eight franchise owners still have unspent money, a factor which has necessitated a second auction. The amounts are: $374,000 (Bangalore), $23,750 (Chennai), $71,250 (Delhi), $262,500 (Hyderabad), $1,700,000 (Jaipur), $107,500 (Kolkata), $292,250 (Mohali) and $53,750 (Mumbai).

"If a team exceeds $5 million [after spending] on players who were initially not available but become available later, the excess expenditure will be ignored," said the official. "Also, player fees for Indian players who were not in the auction do not count against the $5m purse. There will be no more auctions this season."

All team owners have to finalise their squads 30 days before the start of the 2008 season. The IPL kicks off on April 18.

Players for second auction:
Pakistan: Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez; South Africa: Ashwell Prince; New Zealand: Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton, Jamie How, Jeetan Patel, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, James Franklin; Australia: Brad Hodge, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Luke Pomersbach; Sri Lanka: Prasanna Jayawardene; Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Mortaza.

Players who have expressed their interest:
Australia: Shaun Marsh, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, Mick Lewis, Darren Lehmann, Allan Wise, Aiden Blizzard, Adam Crosthwaite; South Africa: Goolam Bodi; Pakistan: Yasir Hameed; West Indies: Kieran Powell, Dwayne Smith.

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?