There is a secret to enjoying the IPL. You know that little voice inside your head that tells you that it’s nothing but a massively over-hyped, over-commercialised waste of time that is distracting attention from more legitimate forms of the game? Well drown it with gin. Two or three bottles should do it. In fact if you’re prepared to suffer the consequences of extreme alcohol consumption for the two months or so the competition runs for, it’s well worth taking the effort to do so. Because the IPL is awesome.
But as awesome as the IPL is, the IPL Auction is even awesom..er. Take this tidbit explaining how the rules governing ‘tie-breakers’ works in this extravaganza of greed and gluttony:
“Yes, the tie-breaker rule still exists. As per this rule, if two franchises submitted the same maximum bid for the same player, they must then submit a cheque with an undisclosed amount to the BCCI – this money comes from outside of the $12.5 million purse. The franchise whose cheque offers the higher amount gets the player and the undisclosed amount goes to the BCCI.”
If nothing else convinces you that this is a spectacle deserving of your attention, the sheer potential scale for corruption and sleaze on show must surely sway you.
If, however, you are feeling overwhelmed by what is to come, never fear, for our handy five step guide of predictions and observations to the forthcoming festivities will steer you true. Just remember to heavily lubricate yourself with gin beforehand.
The Pune Warriors have a frankly intimidating team this season. With the likes of Alfonso Thomas, Tamim Iqbal, Luke Wright, and Ashok Dinda on their books, the title is surely theirs. However some have suggested that with the long overdue retirement of Sourav ‘Dada’ Ganguly, they lack a suitable captain figure to lead them and so should pick up Ponting purely to cover that void. Bollocks, says we. Pune have on their books the inaugural Big Bash winning captain and future leader of the Australian Test team. Step forward Steven Peter Devereux Smith. IPL glory awaits.
Even their name makes them sound like some snobby retirement villa that is engaged in the delicate business of separating the gullible elderly from their hard earned savings. In any case you don’t sign Tom Moody as coach of a new franchise without some expectation of where that will inevitably lead. Moody will be in competition with Darren Lehmann, recently appointed coach of Kings XI Punjab and one of the head honchos of the Warne Revolution, to sign each and every Aussie he can get his hands on. We expect Nathan Coulter-Nile, Luke Pomersbach, Aaron Finch and Dan Christian to be snapped up by one or the other. In the frantic confusion someone might not realise, till it’s tragically too late, that they have also picked up Kane Richardson. The poor bastards.
The appearance of Collingwood’s name on the players list is one of the more baffling features of this year’s auction. We have no idea what it’s doing there. Perhaps they simply forgot to remove it after last year’s version. Whatever the case Collingwood is surely doing himself no favours by dragging himself through another season of T20 cricket and hopefully will be left on the floor along with all the other detritus, like Daniel Harris. Although perhaps that is unfair on the man, and maybe his real reason for nominating for the auction is to get out of the Star Cricket commentary box where he is painfully forced to pretend to laugh at Sunil Gavaskar’s jokes.
They may have been all the rage as little as six months ago, but already it seems the T20 game has moved on and the collection of bits and piece players the Windies drew upon to achieve World Cup success have been left behind. Surprisingly, perhaps the player who best represents this decline is the dimming of Chris Gayle’s star of late, which has exposed his team-mates as being less than adequate of dragging the team over the line on their own.
So we are expecting a surprising number of West Indian players to be left without bids at the end of the night. Instead it will be the Sri Lankans everyone will be clamouring after. They are just so hot right now.
The continued absence from the IPL of any Pakistani players is a blight on the tournament as a whole and black mark against its credibility (along with all those other black marks it must be said). Even letting them play on the condition they must sleep in the stadium like the Pakistan Women’s cricket team (although it must get uncomfortable when they turn the sprinklers on at night) would be better than the current arrangement. Without Pakistani participation the legitimacy and quality (as long as Dale Steyn isn’t bowling at them) of the tournament suffers.