Pakistan players to be favourites at IPL auction

IPL organisers have shortlisted 66 players from eight countries for this year's auction, with Pakistan, Australia and South Africa contributing 11 players each. Sri Lanka (9) England (8), West Indies (8) New Zealand (4), and one player each from Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Canada and the Netherlands will be in the fray. The auctions will witness the return of Pakistani players who were barred from competing last year after the ties between India and Pakistan soured post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Pakistan's star in the Twenty20 World Cup Shahid Afridi is expected to be the biggest draw among the eight franchisees, who each have a maximum of $750,000 to spend. Akmal brothers Kamran and Umar, Umar Gul, Misbahul Haq and Sohail Tanvir, who were the part of inaugural edition, will also feature in the auction. Kieron Pollard, the hard-hitting all-rounder from Trinidad, is also expected to command a significant price with almost all the team owners likely to be bidding for him. Pollard, who has signed for Somerset next season, has already helped South Australia to become the first team to qualify for this year's Twenty20 Champions League.

Franchisees will, however, be cautious while going in for Australian cricketers, who are demanding assurances over security following threats made to them by the Shiv Sena in retaliation for attacks on Indian community in Australia. Andrew Flintoff's absence from the tournament means that Chennai Super Kings will have an additional slot for overseas players. Among the nine England players, 23-year-old Eoin Morgan could be an exciting pick. His strokemaking and the fact he is available for most of the tournament is likely to make him a attractive buy.


Australia: Brad Haddin, Philip Hughes, Doug Bollinger, Ashley Noffke, Adam Voges, Luke Pomersbach, Clint McKay, Graham Manou, Ben Laughlin, Jason Krejza, Damien Martyn.

England: Tim Bresnan, Eoin Morgan, Robert Key, Anthony McGrath, Monty Panesar, Mark Ramprakash, Graeme Swann, Jonathon Trott.

Pakistan: Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq, Umar Gul, Imran Nazir, Rana Naved, Mohammad Aamer, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir.

South Africa: Zander de Bruyn, Wayne Parnell, Tyron Henderson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Rory Kleinveldt, Yusuf Abdulla, Vernon Philander, Johan van der Wath, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morne van Vyk, Justin Kemp.

Sri Lanka: Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Zoysa, Upul Tharanga, Thissara Perera, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Chamara Welegedara, Chinthaka Jayasinghe, Chamara Silva.

West Indies: Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Daren Ganga, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Wavell Hinds, Kemar Roach, Sulieman Benn.

New Zealand: Grant Elliott, Lou Vincent, Shane Bond, Nathan McCullum.

Zimbabwe: Murray Goodwin.

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan.

Canada: Rizwan Cheema.

Netherlands: Ryan ten Doeschate.

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