Modi raises IPL auction cap to $7 mn

Indian Premier League on Tuesday said that each team would now be allowed to keep a purse of $ 7 million (about Rs 35 crore) to bid for players, up from the prevailing level of $ 5 million.

"This would mean $ 70 million for the 10 teams every year and $ 210 million (about Rs 1,000 crore) in three years… this will be the single largest auction in sporting world… you see even in art auctions the bids are for a few millions and that too for total ownership.

"In IPL, the amount that the teams would spend on players would be huge for having the contract for just three years," said IPL Commissioner and Chairman Lalit Modi.

After winning team Pune with a staggering bid of over Rs 1,700 crore, Sahara Group chief Subroto Roy had suggested that IPL should increase the ceiling on the cap for each team to participate in the auction.

Roy’s acquisition comes in the midst of the third season of IPL, where eight teams are vying for honour in the over month-long tournament. Rendezvous World Sports bagged the Kochi team, taking the total number to 10, which Modi said would remain intact for at least seven years.

Modi said Roy has a long association with cricket India, "he understands the game and his bid, though slightly higher than what he anticipated, proved that IPL has the value."

The enhanced cap for auctioning would be for three years from IPL season-IV beginning next year, he said, adding that details of the increased ceiling as also the auction programme would be announced shortly after the ongoing tournament.

Pooh-poohing the doomsayers and sceptics of IPL, he said that doubts were raised right from the time the league was launched and even when the first tournament was played.

Independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance has said the IPL’s brand value has more than doubled to USD 4.13 billion this year, reflecting the format’s success.

"Even the IPL season-II was questioned as it was being played on foreign soil and now despite the success the questions are being asked how long? We are making a few crores a day… every time I put a number in the market be it for the players or bids, people say it is not achievable but I have delivered every time," he said.

On the contrary, he said that every such criticism would make him more determined about the success as sceptics did not talk with knowledge and "I have worked on figures for 15 years days in and days out."

Modi said that the three-year lock-in period would continue even in the next round of bidding and should a player or team desire for a change there are "separate trading windows for the purpose".(PTI)

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