The coronavirus outbreak which has already affected the the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), will likely have an imapct on IPL 2021 also as according to a report by TOI, the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) will not host the mega-auction ahead of the next edition of IPL, which would have seen a complete overhaul of their respective squads.
The reason for the cancellation is the lack of time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While IPL 2020 is all set to commence from September 19 in the UAE, the preparatory time for the next edition of the mega event seems too less for the franchise and as a result, the mega auction ahead of IPL 2021 might be scrapped.
It should be noted that IPL 2020 will end on November 10, which means that the BCCI will have only four-and-half months to begin with the next IPL which is set to take place in its usual slot.
Speaking on the same topic, chief executive of Kolkata Knight Riders Venky Mysore said postponement of the mega auction is ‘not a bad idea’.
“I’ve heard that as well and it’s not a bad idea to push it back by a year, considering we’ll have such a short period of time between the finals [this season] and the start of the next [edition] in April-May,” Mysore told ESPNcricinfo in an interview.
However, Mysore insisted that the idea has to be thought through.
“There are various other ramifications of what it may mean contractually for the players and what not, but it [the mega auction being pushed back] has been done before when two teams were banned – the auction was pushed back by a year. So there is precedence to that. Whether this situation [pandemic resulting in a short window between two editions] warrants that, let’s wait and see, but it’s not a bad idea for the moment,” KKR CEO added.
Interestingly, the franchises echo the same thoughts and words as of Mysore’s as ideally the teams need 3-4 months to get their strategies in place for a mega auction but given the current scenario, they won’t have much time in their hands to plan for the auction.
As per report by TOI, franchises are also of the view that their won’t be enough time and space available for teams to rebuild because of the following elements:
a) Restructuring of auction purse — presently at Rs 85 cr per year;
b) Entering into a contract with Indian and overseas players to put together a comprehensive auction list
— a time-consuming process;
c) Allowing franchises time to prepare for the bidding — teams usually take 4-6 months to figure out
d) Any kind of brand activation — once new players are on board.
Interestingly, the last IPL auction, which took place in December 2019, was a mini one with the franchises using it only to fill few slots in their squads. Only 332 players had gone under the hammer for the mere 73 spotswhich were up for grabs for the eight franchises. In the end, a total of only 62 players were sold in the one-day affair.