Everything You Need To Know About The IPL Auction 2022

Every year, the IPL player auction is a highly anticipated occasion. It's a big draw for players and fans from all around the globe to watch which club acquires which players and for how much.

Every year, the IPL player auction is a highly anticipated occasion. It's a big draw for players and fans from all around the globe to watch which club acquires which players and for how much. Players who have registered their names for the auction wait with bated breath as clubs engage in bidding wars for their services. Many people learn they've been purchased at auction from their coworkers, acquaintances, and loved ones. Everyone else, save for a small group of players retained and six players signed by the two new clubs, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, will return to the auction pool in the next IPL player auction.

The grand auction will take place on the 12th and 13th of February 2022 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Reports claim this might be the last major player auction in the Indian Premier League. This will be the 15th edition of the IPL, and listed below are some other details and FAQs of this grand event.

When will the player auction for the IPL 2022 season take place?  

There will be two days of bidding on February 12 and 13, 2022, since this is a mega auction.

In what city will the IPL player auction for 2022 take place?

Bengaluru, Karnataka, will host the player auction.  

IPL Player Auction 2022 - How many players have signed up?

A mammoth 1214 players had initially registered for the auction. There were 896 Indians and 318 foreign players in this group. 

How many players made it to the final auction list?

There are a total of 590 players left on the final auction list. In this group, there are 370 Indians and 220 foreigners.

What are the names of the two new clubs in the Indian Premier League (IPL)?

The Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises will make their debuts in the 2022 season. 

What is an Indian Premier League player auction? 

It is a bidding process to choose which player will play for which club. It is an open auction, and all franchises participating may bid on any player they like, regardless of whether they indicated an interest in that player in their pre-auction lists of players to the BCCI. Franchises approach the market with a variety of techniques and often have a list of players they like to acquire, as well as a plan B, C, or D in case of an emergency. Therefore, if a club is unable to get the player they set out to acquire, they will look to their second alternative, then their third, and so on.

How are the players classified for the auction?

Generally, players are classified into three basic categories: Indians with international caps, Indians without international caps, and overseas players. They are further classified into categories according to their specialisation - batsmen, fast bowlers, spinners, all-rounders, and wicketkeepers.

How does an Indian Premier League player auction work?

It functions similarly to any other auction, with the auctioneer stating the player's name, playing style, place of origin, and base price. Franchises are then permitted to bid on the player beginning at his basic price. Thus, if a player's base price is Rs 1 Crore, the first offer will be for Rs 1 Crore and will keep increasing henceforth. No player may be acquired at a price lower than his basic price. Once an unbeatable bid is placed the auctioneer makes the decision to halt the bidding at that price. This often occurs after the auctioneer has shouted out three times to alert all franchisees (going once, going twice, going thrice - sold) that he would be closing the bidding if no other bidders are interested in the player going under the hammer at that moment. The club that places the last offer, or the winning bid, acquires the player and adds him to their squad.

What is the base price for players and how is it decided?

The base price is the minimum amount that has to be bid for a player at an auction. This price is fixed by the player before the auction and submitted to the BCCI along with an NOC from his state/international board to show that he has been cleared by the Board to participate in the IPL. The high profile Indian and foreign capped players usually set their base prices high because they are confident that they will attract big bids, while uncapped and lesser known players usually opt for the lower base price categories. Players need to take into account their previous performances, their general popularity, social media following etc before fixing their base price. The key for those who are not sure if they will find a buyer is to not set their base price either too low or too high.

What is an unsold player?  

An unsold player is someone no one ends up bidding for at the auction. This is the worst possible situation for a player who has signed up for the auction and made the shortlist, especially if they remain unsold through the entire course of the auction, right till the end. Can players unsold in one round be brought back into the auction? Yes. The unsold players can be brought back again. This process continues till the teams have filled their full roster. Players unsold after additional rounds are also brought back at the end of the auction as part of the accelerated bidding process, if teams show an interest. 

What is accelerated bidding?

A list is submitted to the BCCI which includes players the franchises are interested in from the list of unsold players and they are brought back into the auction for teams to have another go at them if they are interested. In this the bidding happens faster, with the auctioneer racing through the names and teams usually picking up a few players very quickly and more often than not for their base price. Once in a while there is a bidding war in this process also, but it's rare. This process can be repeated more than once. 

Can unsold players be part of IPL teams post the auction ?

Yes. Unsold players can be signed as replacements for unavailable or injured players by teams during the course of the tournament. How many players go under the hammer in an IPL player auction? The number varies from auction to auction. If it is a mini auction the numbers are very low. In the case of a mega auction, which takes place after the player contracts are over and new contracts are due, the number, of course, is much larger. The final list of players who go under the hammer is a short-list created depending on which players the teams have shown interest in from the total number of players who register themselves for the auction. For example, this time, out of a total of 1214 players who registered for the auction, 590 players have been shortlisted and these players will now go under the hammer on February 12 and 13. 

What is a team purse and how is the amount decided?

The purse is the amount of money a team can spend overall in building their team. This includes players they retain or sign ahead of the auction and players they buy in the auction itself. The amount is the same for all teams to make it a fair process. For example, this time, with 10 teams in the fray, the BCCI capped the purse at Rs 90 Crore per team. From this deductions were made depending on how many players the 8 older teams retained and how many the 2 newer teams signed. The amount of money spent by the teams on retaining or buying these players is not the same as the amount deducted from the auction purse. The amount deducted is a fixed amount depending on the number of players retained.

Do the players get the full amount that they are bought for?  

Yes. For example, if a player is bought for Rs 3 Crore on a three-year contract then he is entitled to Rs 3 Crore per year for the three years of the said contract. If a player wants to be released in between he can ask the franchise to do so. As long as the player is available for the full season, he will be paid the full amount irrespective of the number of matches he has played or been selected for. If a player has to pull out due to injury before a season begins usually the franchise doesn't have to pay the player. However, if the player is available only for a fixed number of matches in the season and not the full season, he is paid on a pro-rata basis, usually along with a 10% retainer. If a team chooses to release a player before the contract is up, they will have to pay the player for the full term for which he was contracted. If a player is injured during the tournament the franchise has to cover the medical expense of treatment. 

How does player retention before the auction work?

Before every auction the teams are given the option of retaining a fixed number of players (Indian, foreign and uncapped) from their existing squad. The rest of the squad will have to be released to go into the auction pool. For example, ahead of the 2022 player auction the 8 original teams were given the option to retain a maximum of 4 players.

Can franchises buy unsold players later?

Yes. If a player is injured or otherwise unavailable at any time, a franchise can replace him by signing a player from the unsold players list, provided they meet the requirements for the maximum number of foreign players in their squad.

How does the IPL player transfer work?

According to the rules, any player who has played, either in the playing XI or as a concussion substitute, less than two matches for his parent team, can be loaned out to another team for a mutually agreed upon fee. The franchise which is lending the player will get the agreed upon sum where there is no salary cap. Initially the transfer window was opened only for uncapped players, however now, capped players can also be transferred. The transferred player will play for the team he has been loaned out to and return to the parent team the next season. The transfer window is opened at exactly the halfway stage of the tournament. For the 2022 season this will be after all the 10 teams have played 9 matches each, provided the format continues to be the same - that all teams play each other twice.

What is a Right to Match Card?

This is an option given to the franchises to buy back a player they have not managed to retain but would like to bring back into their team. The way it works is that after the highest bid amount for a player is determined at the auction, the team which previously owned the player is given the choice to match the highest bid. If they choose to use their RTM card they can then have the player. If not, the team which bid the highest for that player gets to buy the player. When the RTM card is available as an option, the team which owned the player previously, can wait for the bidding to get over before using the card to buy back the player. This is of course if the franchise wants to buy back the player in the first place. The 2022 edition of the auction, however, will not have the RTM card option, since that will be unfair to the two new teams which have just joined the IPL.

What is a bidding war?

A bidding war is a competitive bidding process where two or more franchises find themselves locked in a situation where they want to buy the same player. The bids come in thick and fast in such a scenario. Sometimes there are as many as four teams locked in a bidding war. As the bids go up one or two franchises stop bidding, while maybe two more continue. Usually this happens when the player being bid for is on the first-choice pick list of multiple teams and they all want to buy the player, even if they have to shell out way more than what they had initially budgeted for. Franchises usually draw up plans for which players they want to aggressively bid for before the auction as part of their bidding strategies. They also usually have a good idea of which other teams could be interested in certain players, though this is not a very big possibility in a mega auction when all franchises have to build almost 90% of their teams at the auction.

How much do franchises usually spend on the star players and which players have bagged the biggest deals so far?

Usually most franchises spend about 40% of their purse if not more to build their core team. This usually includes 5-6 players who they feel they must have no matter what in their ranks. The rest of the purse is then spent in buying the remaining 20 odd players, if a squad of 25 is being built and this is usually from the list of players whose base prices are lower, while many of them are uncapped players. So far in the history of the IPL, the highest price tag has been Rs 17 Crore. It has been commanded by two Indian cricketers. Virat Kohli was retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the last mega auction for Rs 17 Crore. However, ahead of the 2022 edition, Virat took a pay cut of Rs 2 Crore as RCB retained him for Rs 15 Crore. More recently, the new Lucknow franchise signed KL Rahul, who will be their captain, for Rs 17 Crore. Yuvraj Singh was bought by the Delhi Capitals in 2015 for Rs 16 Crore. This was the highest price bid for a player at an IPL auction, till in the 2021 auction, Rajasthan Royals bought all-rounder Chris Morris for Rs 16.25 Crore. Incredibly, Morris base price was Rs 75 lakh. In the 2020 IPL player auction, current Australian Test captain Pat Cummins was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 15.5 Crore.

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Akshay Malhotra

28 year old former professional cricketer at youth levels with a burning passion for sports. Experienced football writer with over 8 years of experience.