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Cricket KPL Auction Today For State’s Top 48 - Sathish - 08-14-2009

Bangalore: The Board of Control for Cricket in India may have done its best to spoil the Karnataka Premier League party on the eve of the player auction that is to take place on Friday morning, but by all counts the show will still go on.

The BCCI in its working committee meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, one that was attended by KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel, ruled that no player from outside Karnataka will be allowed to take part in the KPL, but going by the reaction of some of the franchisees, they don’t seem too worried and are happy to take the field with players from Karnataka only, at least in the first edition of the tournament.

The auction will kick off at 9.30 am with television personality Charu Sharma holding fort. Forty-eight players will go under the hammer, with their order decided by draw of lots. Once the bid for a player is done with, the winning franchisee will have to sign the relevant documents before the next name is drawn.

The salary cap for the six players that each franchisee must compulsorily acquire in the auction has been fixed at Rs 7 lakh. For the second set of nine players, who can be signed on outside of the auction, the cap remains at Rs 4 lakh. However, money remaining from the Rs 7 lakh available at the auction can be used for the second set.

Overall though, the salary cap for a minimum of 14 players will be a total of Rs 11 lakh. There is also a minimum of Rs 5 lakh that has to be spent at the auction, a rule that may be reviewed at the franchisee meeting just prior to the auction.

As regards the three non-Karnataka players that each team could have fielded had the BCCI been more liberal in its approach, a decision will be taken in due course on how to replace them. It may be recalled that there was no budget specified for them and their absence means no Karnataka player can feel shortchanged had the outsiders been offered more.

At the auction, the minimum that a player can be bought for is Rs 25,000 (Rs 10,000 minimum for those outside the auction), with the bidding to done in multiples of Rs 5,000.

Friday then will be all about the players, the 48, who are the cream of Karnataka.

The player in most demand seems to be Robin Uthappa, who strangely enough has a T20 average of below 18 from 47 games (games include IPL, T20 internationals and T20 inter-state). Manish Pandey, whose pyrotechnics in two of the last three games that the Royal Challengers played has lifted him from obscurity to instant fame, is the other player most franchisees are eyeing even if his average too is just 20 from 15 games. Veteran allrounder Sunil Joshi, IPL players R Vinay Kumar and B Akhil and ex-ICL player Stuart Binny are the others who are likely to be fought over.

Most of those players, incidentally, will be figuring in the All India Invitation final that begins at the same Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday. Hosts KSCA XI take on Air India in the two-day final and hopefully the players will be able to concentrate on the action on the field, rather than the auction just off it.