This is one category of Sports which is completely unaffected by Global Meltdown & Economic Recession.
Flambuoyant English batsman Kevin Pietersen and compatriot all rounder Andrew Flintoff will be the star attractions among 43 players who would go under hammer at the Indian Premier League’s second season Players’ Auction in Panaji on Friday.
Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke was tipped as another hot property at the auction until he made himself unavailable for the lucrative Twenty20 tournament for the second consecutive season, citing his attempt manage the workload in view of the busy international calender.
The withdrawal of Pakistani players and the final nomination by the eight franchises has left just 43 players in the running for the high-profile auction.
Quite a few teams will have to re-think their strategy for the auction after the Pakistan government barred its players from travelling to India for the IPL. The tight international schedule means not all international players will be available through the tournament.
There are already reports that the hot favorites name will lead to a huge bidding war in the IPL auction and prices could touch the sky.Some of the Emerging Names who will be the hot favourites are:-
1.Kevin Pietersen (ENGLAND)
As expected, England captain Kevin Pietersen lead the stakes with a starting bid of US $1.35 million. It is believed that he could easily surpass Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s record price of $ 1.5 m that Chennai Super Kings forked out for him last year.
Many believe that Bangalore Royal Challengers are going all out to sign the England captain in a bid to bolster their team after their disastrous showing last year.
2. Andrew Flintoff (ENGLAND)
Andrew Flintoff is another hot pick and expected to break the million-dollar barrier after starting with a base price of $ 950,000.
3. Jean Paul Duminy (SOUTH AFRICA)
Starting with a base price $300,000 he is the fourth highest on the list but could end up earning much higher and that is due to his top-notch performances in Australia recently, where South Africa won both the Tests and ODIs.
4. Shaun Tait (AUSTRALIA)
The absence of Pakistan players has put most of the teams in a quandary as far as their fast bowling is concerned. Shaun Tait, with his express pace, fits the bill perfectly, particularly in Twenty20.
5. Owais Shah (England)
Owais Shah gave a good account of his powerful strokeplay during the ODI series in India last year which England lost 0-5. He fails to find a permanent berth in the England team though, but the IPL could well offer him a much-needed lifeline.
6. Fidel Edwards (West Indies)
The West Indian pace duo of Fidel Edwards (in picture) and Jerome Taylor should also fetch a high price at the auction considering the fact that all the franchises would be looking to shore up their bowling options.
7. Kyle Mills (News Zealand)
Pacer Kyle Mills is one of New Zealand’s most consistent players in the last year or so because of his ability to frustrate batsmen with his nagging line and length.
8. Andrew MacDonald (Australia)
The 22-year old, who is yet to make his first class debut featured in Australia’s consolation Test win at Sydney at the start of this month, whilst Warner made a sensational Twenty20 International debut against South Africa at Melbourne this weekend.