IPL GC confirms Dec 19 for auction; no ball umpire, Power Player deferred

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The players’ auction for the next Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held on December 19 in Kolkata, the event’s Governing Council has decided in Mumbai today (Tuesday).The glitzy league is usually held in April-May every year and players’ auction is being conducted in Kolkata for the first time.

The city is the home ground of the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.

“The IPL auction will be in Kolkata on December 19. It’s a departure from the traditional venue of Bengaluru,” an IPL Governing Council member said on conditions of anonymity after the meeting here.

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The franchises have at their disposal ₹82 crore each to upgraded their teams for the IPL 2020. A total of ₹ 85 crore per franchisee is marked for to build their teams for the 2020 season. The franchisees have already committed a major chunk on their existing combines. They will only be able to spend the balance left in their coffers.

Delhi Capitals have the biggest balance of ₹ 8.2 crore, followed by Rajasthan Royals (₹7.15 crore) and Kolkata Knight Riders (₹6.05 crore).

This year’s auction is the last one before the franchises disband and prepare to assemble fresh squads from 2021 at a mega auction.

Funds left with franchises ahead of IPL 2020 auction: Chennai Super Kings (₹3.2 crore), Delhi Capitals (₹7.7 crore), Kings XI Punjab (₹3.7 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (₹6.05 crore), Mumbai Indians (₹3.55 crore), Rajasthan Royals (₹7.15 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (₹1.80 crore) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (₹5.30 crore).

Among other crucial decisions, the IPL Governing Council is planning to have an umpire assigned specifically to check “no balls” after a number of howlers in the past few seasons led to heightened concerns about quality of Indian match officials.

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However, the decision on introducing a “Power Player” has been deferred for now.

It was also learnt that the much-hyped ‘Power Player’ concept of substitutions during IPL games was shelved for the time being as the project can’t be piloted during upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (National T20), starting later this week.

The GC chaired by former Test batsman Brijesh Patel met at the cricket headquarters to discuss a slew of issues including FTP window, availability of foreign players, FTP of Indian team and possibility of franchises playing friendlies abroad.

However the talking point was having an exclusive umpire to check on the contentious front-foot and height no balls.

“If all goes well, during the next Indian Premier League, you could see another umpire apart from the regular umpires just to “observe” no-balls. The concept sounds weird, but this was among the issues discussed in the first IPL Governing Council meeting which was held here,” a senior GC member told reporters after the meet.

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“We want to use the technology. We are having another umpire for only observing no-balls. There will be an umpire, who will be focused on no-balls only. And he will not be third or fourth umpire,” the influential member said.

There was a lot of hue and cry during the last IPL, when some debatable decisions were taken with regards to front-foot no-balls.

India skipper Virat Kohli even had a heated word with Indian umpire S Ravi, who failed to spot a no-ball by Mumbai Indians’ Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga, which proved costly for the Royal Challengers Bangalore during one of the IPL matches.

It is understood that the concept of having such umpires could be tried at any of the domestic tournament before a final call will be taken on it.

On the concept of ‘Power Player’, the official said: “The matter was discussed but there is too little time to implement during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which starts on Friday, November 8.”

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