I wish I could understand the rules under which the buying of players by the Indian Premier League franchises operates. Meat Market II wrapped up at the Mumbai Hilton yesterday, and I just wonder how and if IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi is making things up as he goes along.
Consider the case of Ashwell Prince who, after being passed in at Meat Market I, was snapped up yesterday. Prince will not be a (Chennai) SuperKing, a (Rajasthan) Royal or a (Bangalore) Royal Challenger, he becomes a Mumbai Indian. But that's not the issue.
As reported by Nagraj Gollapudi on Cricinfo today, Prince was bought by Mumbai for $175000. This is despite the fact that the franchise only had $53750 of its salary cap left to spend after MM1. Cricinfo reports that Commissioner Modi said that the balance of Prince's salary would be picked up by the IPL.
The members of the World Cup winning Indian Under-19 team were available to the franchises under a draft, rather than the auction. They are on a base rate of $30000 except for those with Ranji Trophy experience, who will receive $50000. Two members of the sixteen-team squad weren't picked up in the draft, however my new Favourite Name In Cricket, Napoleon Einstein, has joined the Chennai SuperKings.
Most of the unsigned players from New Zealand's victorious First Team side were picked up yesterday, as were a ragbag of Aussie B-listers. James Hopes (Mohali, $300K) scored well, while Luke Pomersbach (Mohali, $50K) and Brett Geeves (Delhi, $50K) will be laughing all the way to the bank even at those bargain-basement rates.
But with so many overseas players available at MM2, there appear to have been more rules to bend. To quote from Nagraj Gollapudi's report:
"The day's signings left Bangalore, Kolkata and Jaipur with nine overseas players in their ranks, one more than permitted under IPL rules. However, Cricinfo has learned that the IPL management agreed to relax the rules to accommodate as many players as possible.
'Yes, Bangalore and a couple of other teams do have nine foreign players,' Charu Sharma, the Bangalore franchise's chief executive, told Cricinfo. 'There were good reasons for having an eight-man limit, but with some of the players contracted by the IPL [like Ashwell Prince] still available, there was mutual agreement between the franchises that a ninth man could be chosen, if needed.'"
All the international players on display at Meat Market Two were bought except for one. The Yousuf Formerly Known As Youhana remains stranded between the ICL contract he signed and the IPL contract he covets.