The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have retained the services of UK-based auctioneer Richard Madley for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the seventh year. Madley, from Wales, will be in action on Wednesday (and Thursday, if it continues).
by BIPIN DANI
“The caliber of players on offer from India, Australia, NZ, West Indies and of course England will undoubtedly result in some very competitive bidding.
“I am therefore predicting some quite competitive bidding for some of the bigger names -along with a few surprises for a few lesser known players. People always ask me who I think will make the highest price but I have learnt not to speculate”.
“Player retention has been fascinating – which I have observed through the international cricket press. It has been interesting to see that The Mumbai Indians have kept four key players whilst the Delhi Daredevils have kept none”.
“The change of currency from US dollars to Indian Rupees is a major departure for me as an auctioneer. Whilst I have spent 30 years conducting auctions in $US and £UK -this will be the first time I have sold in rupees- and I will use increments of lakhs throughout the auction. It will be interesting to observe if I occasionally slip inadvertently into dollars or pounds!”, he added.
“The final and perhaps most telling change to the auction is the “right to match” (RTM) -where teams will have the opportunity to match the final bid made by another team and to “buy back” a former player from the previous season. This is an auction “first” and it will be very interesting to see how teams tactically player their “joker cards”.
When I look back over the past six auctions there are many high points – nothing will match the excitement of the inaugural auction in the ballroom of the Oberoi Hilton in Mumbai when M S Dhoni stole the show -selling for $1.5 million and the cricket world was transformed forever. There was such a sense of excitement that day -when “unknowns” like Ishant Sharma sold for $950,000 and the Rajastan Royals cleverly put together a low budget team which went on to win IPL 1!
“The tied bids (of $1.55m ) for Freddie Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen raised the bar again in the following auction – and they in turn were usurped by Keiron Pollard the following year. By the time Gautum Gambhir achieved $2.1 million for KKR -IPL auction fever had gripped the cricket world and the auction became the most talked about event in world cricket”.
“My preparation for this years auction started when I familiarize myself with the players and their base prices. It will be a long auction this time. I will try and keep a fairly prompt pace throughout the day and will not delay if a player fails to attract an opening bid”, he added.
“I will continue to exercise the auction principles of the three “F”‘s – being FIRM, FAIR & FRIENDLY. I liken my role to that of an umpire -where I am there to insure that the rules and regulations are adhered to”.
“Since my first IPL auction I have been known international as “The Hammerman” and been invited to conduct several other sporting auctions-mainly in the UK. My close association with the IPL has meant that as yet I have not been approached by other cricketing boards- although I remain open to offers!”
“I look forward to catching up with the many friends I have made in India over the past seven years and am sure that this auction will be as exciting as the rest”, he signed off.
He has toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Malaysia, to name a few, and contributes to a large number of newspapers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
His twitter bio reads: Eat cricket stories, drink cricket stories, sleep cricket stories.