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IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding war

333 players on the long list for auctions to fill a maximum of 77 slots

Published: Dec 13, 2023 12:20:20 PM IST
Updated: Dec 20, 2023 11:15:26 AM IST

IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding warHaving just helped Australia lift the ICC World Cup 2023 trophy in India, Travis Head is most likely to be a hot property at the IPL 2024 auction table. Image: Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

It is that time of the year when the cricket world awaits to see who fetches big values at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. The mini-auction takes place every year ahead of the tournament, allowing franchises to rearrange squads and fill the empty spots.

IPL franchises can release and retain as many players ahead of the mini-auction, depending on their requirements and previous season’s performance. This year, the auction is scheduled to take place in Dubai on December 19. On Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the list of players who have been shortlisted by the 10 franchises for the auction.

The long list features 333 players, among which 214 are Indians and 119 overseas. If we further break down the list, there are 116 capped (players who have played international cricket) and 215 uncapped players. However, only a maximum of 77 slots are available among all the teams.

Each franchise will enter the auction with an aggregated budget of Rs 100 crore. Although all the teams have retained most of their squad, Gujarat Titans (GT) have the highest remaining budget of Rs 38.15 crore with eight spots to fill. Lucknow SuperGiants (LSG), who have six spots left, have the least remaining budget of Rs 13.15 crore.

Franchise No. of Players No. of Overseas Players Total Money Spent (Rs) Salary Cap Available (Rs) Available Slots Overseas Slots
CSK 19 5 68.6 31.4 6 3
DC 16 4 71.05 28.95 9 4
GT 17 6 61.85 38.15 8 2
KKR 13 4 67.3 32.7 12 4
LSG 19 6 86.85 13.15 6 2
MI 17 4 82.25 17.75 8 4
PBKS 17 6 70.9 29.1 8 2
RCB 19 5 76.75 23.25 6 3
RR 17 5 85.5 14.5 8 3
SRH 19 5 66 34 6 3
Total 173 50 737.05 262.95 77 30
(Table credit: BCCI/IPL)

Mini-auctions are known for inviting huge bidding wars. Last year, England’s Sam Curran fetched Rs 18.50 crore,  the highest-ever bid in IPL history. There are a lot of global stars listed in this year’s auction as well. We take a look at the five players who can be the costliest buys this time: 

1. Travis Head (Australia): Base Price: Rs 2 crore

Having just helped Australia lift the ICC ODI Men’s World Cup trophy in India, Travis Head is likely to be a hot property at the IPL 2024 auction table. The left-handed attacking batter has all the ingredients that IPL franchises look for in a player. He can go berserk from ball one and has a wide range of strokes under his armoury. Head showed great intent in the World Cup, making it tough for bowlers to bowl against him. Batting-friendly Indian pitches will only make the task easier for him. On top of it, he can bowl a bit of off-break as well, which can be handy if conditions are helpful to spinners.

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2. Gerald Coetzee (South Africa): Base Price: Rs 2 crore

IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding warSouth Africa's Gerald Coetzee reacts after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Nasum Ahmed during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on October 24, 2023. Image: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP
All-rounders used to be in high demand in the IPL. However, with the Impact Player introduced last year–which allows teams to field an extra player apart from the playing XI– the demand has shifted to fast bowlers. Gerald Coetzee is the kind of bowler that every IPL franchise would cherish to have. He is fast– bowls in the high 140kmph range—and hits the deck hard, hence could take a lot of wickets both upfront and at the death. He was South Africa’s highest wicket-taker at the World Cup and impressed with his fierce bowling. The 23-year-old has got the T20 smarts as well: He can bowl those yorkers and take the pace off whenever needed.

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3. Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand) Base Price: Rs 50 Lakh

IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding warNew Zealand's Rachin Ravindra reacts after playing a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on November 9, 2023. Image: R.Satish Babu / AFP
New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra, who has his roots in India, was the most impressive youngster in the recently-concluded World Cup. He finished as the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament with 578 runs in 10 matches. The 24-year-old is capable of bowling more-than-handy left-arm spin as well, which adds to his chances of grabbing big money at the auction. Ravindra is both stylish and has the firepower too. History says IPL franchises have often shown recency bias at the auctions and given Ravindra’s recent form, it won’t be a surprise if he finishes among the costliest buys at the auction.

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4. Mitchell Starc (Australia) Base Price: Rs 2 crore

IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding warAustralia's Mitchell Starc celebrates after taking the wicket of India's KL Rahul during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) final match between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, 2023. Image: Sajjad Hussain / AFP
Australia’s prime fast-bowler Mitchell Starc is finally returning to IPL after eight years. He last played in the tournament in 2015 and represented Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The left-arm pacer is considered one of the best across formats in the current era. He swings the new ball both ways and bowls at a decent speed. Most of the IPL franchises would want to utilise his experience and get him no matter the cost. However, Starc is placed at serial 28 in the auction list, which means he will come a bit late at the table, so teams will have to save money to buy him. Starc’s inclusion will mean a much-strengthened bowling attack as well as aggression, which is much-needed on the flat Indian pitches.

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5. Shardul Thakur (India) Base Price: Rs 2 crore

IPL 2024 auction: Five players who can cause a bidding warIndia's Shardul Thakur celebrates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's captain Shakib Al Hasan (R) during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four one-day international (ODI) cricket match between India and Bangladesh at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 15, 2023. Image: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP
Indian players are always in demand at the IPL auction since their place is more or less guaranteed in the playing XI. All-rounder Shardul Thakur is one of the rare current Indian players who will go under the hammer at the upcoming auction. Thakur has previously played for five different franchises and has years of experience in playing the mega tournament. Although his recent form with the ball hasn’t been that good, given what he brings to the table, he could still attract huge bids for him. Apart from his pace bowling, Thakur can be quite lethal with the bat on a given day.

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Honourable Mentions: New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell, Australian captain Pat Cummins, Sri Lankan leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and young Indian pacer Karthik Tyagi are the other few players who could be in high demand at the auction.