Joe Root, the England Test captain, headlines a list of 1122 players who have signed up for the Indian Premier League 2018 auction. Should he get picked as is expected, Root will be a first-time entrant to the most widely followed Twenty20 league in the world.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India released a lot of prominent names in the auction pool on Saturday (January 13). The auction is scheduled to take place in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.
The list has 281 capped players, 838 uncapped players — including 778 Indians — and three players from the Associate nations.
Fierce bidding is expected when international stars like Chris Gayle, Ben Stokes, Chris Lynn, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro and Mustafizur Rahman will go under the hammer.
Top Indian players in the mix: Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ajinkya Rahane.
Key overseas players: Chris Gayle, Ben Stokes, Chris Lynn, Eoin Morgan, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Joe Root, Dwayne Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Evin Lewis, Jason Holder, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Kane Williamson, Colin Munro, Tom Latham, Mustafizur Rahman.
Among Indian players, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and KL Rahul are some of the big names that will be chased keenly. Franchises will look to use the Right to Match cards judiciously as they seek to win back players that have served them with distinction in the past.
Earlier this month, a total of 18 players were retained by the eight franchises. Each franchise can retain up to five players through a combination of retention and RtM cards during the auction.
It will also be interesting to see which players the teams try to get back via the RtM card. Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, and Chennai Super Kings, the two-time winners who are returning to the fray after a two-year suspension, cannot look to buy back a capped Indian player through the RtM option as they have both retained the maximum permitted three capped Indian players each.
Of the 282 overseas players who have registered for the auction, the most are from Australia (58), followed by South Africa (57). The country-wise breakdown is as below.
List of retained players:
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan
Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell
Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel
Rajasthan Royals: Steven Smith