RCB team has no local flavour

RCB team has no local flavour

RCB have no Bangalore flavour while many other franchises too have looked outside for talent

Every time auctioneer Richard Madley announced the name of a Karnataka cricketer to the house for bidding on Thursday during the IPL auction, the cameras zoomed in on Royal Challengers Bangalore camp. 

But there  were hardly any response from them as other franchises gleefully grabbed a number of State players who had done exceedingly well to win the glorious double of Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup. Royal Challengers’ move on Wednesday, the first day of the auction, to not even attempt to bid for players like R Vinay Kumar and Robin Uthappa, too had come under scanner. 

The move followed after the local franchise had cut a deep hole in its pocket while purchasing Yuvraj Singh for Rs 14 crore.  Coming into the auction, the Royal Challengers had a little over Rs 30 crore to acquire a minimum of 16 players but the costly buy of Yuvraj cut their fund to almost half. Even in that financially restricted environment, Royal Challengers were expected to bid for some uncapped Karnataka players on the second day of the auction. 

But they were mere spectators of other teams procuring players such as Manish Pandey (Kolkata Knight Riders), HS Sharath (Delhi Daredevils, Rs 10 lakh), Karun Nair (Rajasthan Royals, Rs 75 lakh), Shreyas Gopal (Mumbai Indians, Rs 10 lakh), KL Rahul (Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rs 1 crore), CM Gautam (Mumbai Indians, Rs 20 lakh) and Mayank Agarwal (Delhi Daredevils, Rs 1.6 crore) for good prices. 

All of them have been the stars for Karnataka this season but their stellar efforts were not enough to move the local outfit. It became a glaring anomaly as the rest of the franchises bought at least one local player to give it a touch of that region, and the Kings XI Punjab had as many as five local players in their line-up. But Royal Challengers obviously thought otherwise and it may not go down well with many local fans. However, Royal Challengers were not the only team to ignore some of the big names from its region. 

On a team re-building drive, Delhi Daredevils had off-loaded Virender Sehwag, once their icon player, and the dasher has now settled in the neighbouring Kings XI. The Daredevils had earlier bid goodbye to another local player -- Gautam Gambhir and the left-hander now leads Kolkata Knight Riders, even leading them to an IPL title. TA Sekar, former India pacer and Daredevils’ assistant coach, preferred to look beyond the regional sentiments on the issue of teams ignoring local players. 

“It’s all about team composition and the utility of a particular player for a particular team. There is no point in keeping a player in your team and not being able to give him a chance. It will be better for him to play for another team where he could get more chances to play. When you spent a certain amount for a player, teams often think about his utility first than his place of origin,” said Sekar. 

Ness Wadia, co-owner of Kings XI, too thought similarly. “We had great chance this time to buy uncapped players suited to our demands because they were available in the auction unlike in the previous seasons. Doing away with the mandatory catchment area system too helped us and other teams to look beyond the specified region and buy players according to the needs of the team.” Now, it’s up to the fans to accept that line of thinking. 

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