Uthappa, Pandey in demand

Uthappa, Pandey in demand

Star opener Robin Uthappa and middle-order bat Manish Pandey, along with KL Rahul, are expected to rake in the big mo­olah at the Karnataka Premier League players’ au­c­tion here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.

Uthappa, the player of the tournament in the recently-concluded IPL-7, is in the auction as his team -- Bangalore Brigadiers -- have pulled out of the third edition. His team-mate at Kolkata Knight Riders, Pandey, couldn’t be retained by Belagavi Panthers as existing teams are allowed to keep just one player from Pool A that consists of the top 30 State cricketers.

Panthers, who also had R Vinay Kumar in their ranks, went for the Karnataka skipper. The medium pacer will also be leading the Panthers in the T20 league to be held from August 28 to September 12.
Another batsman, who has made rapid progress in the last one year, Karun Nair, has been retained by defending champions Mangalore United while Bijapur Bulls left their slate clean.

Stuart Binny, the second highest paid player behind Uthappa in the previous auction, will not be available for the tournament as the all-rounder has been included in the ODI squad for the England series. With Mumbai Indians refusing to release leg-spinning all-rounder Shreyas Gopal and medium pacer HS Sharath injured, there were three vacancies in Pool A. Left-arm spinner KP Appanna, medium pacer SL Akshay and batsman C Cheluvaraj have come in as replacements.

Another top-order batsman Rahul, who was also part of Brigadiers, will be one of the most sought after players at the auction scheduled to kick off at 3.30 pm after the unveiling of the sponsor’s logo. Hard-hitting opener Mayank Agarwal is also sure to generate some heat along with A Mithun, S Arvind, Ronit More, Amit Verma and Kunal Kapoor.

It will be interesting to see how much interest former State cricketers like Anand Katti, Yere Goud and B Akhil -- who are all in Pool A -- generate among the bidders.

Unlike in the previous auction in 2009, when the franchises were allowed to spend Rs 7 lakh each on buying players, amounting to Rs 56 lakh, this time the cap has been raised to Rs 20 lakh per team. As a result the six teams at the player bidding together can spend a maximum of Rs 1.2 crore on a minimum of 90 players (taking into consideration that each team should have a minimum of 15-player squad) and a maximum of 108.

The two retained players, Vinay and Nair, who have a minimum cap Rs 3 lakh, will get 15 per cent more than the highest paid player in the auction in their respective teams or whichever is the higher amount.
 Each franchise can spend a maximum of Rs 12 lakh to buy no more than five players from Pool A and if any player in this ‘elite’ group goes unsold he will come into Pool B which has close to 200 players.

The unsold Pool A player, however, can go under the hammer again only after Pool B players are auctioned off. The base price for unsold Pool A player is pegged at Rs 25,000. Each bid for a player has to be raised by Rs 10,000 for Pool A and by Rs 5,000 for Pool B. 

Also, to help maintain local flavour, it has been made mandatory for teams to have two players from their catchment area.

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