IPL franchisees to bid for 78 players in landmark auction

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Mumbai, Feb 19 (UNI) A total of 78 players Indian and international will go under the hammer tomorrow as the landmark day in Indian cricket has dawned with cricket experts around the country fine-tuning software programmes and crunching numbers ahead of the player's auction to secure the world's best players in a brand new DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament.

Eight Team owners or franchisees have brought their teams for a total staggering amount of more than 700 million dollars and include several Indian billionaires as well as two Bollywood movie stars.

They have been burning midnight oil to formulate their strategies with the cricket specialists specially appointed for the upcoming bid about how to disburse the USD 5 million (Rs 4.2 million) each bidder has to spend on players during the auction that will kick-start the Indian Premier League.

The auction will be a private one to be conducted by an independent professional auctioneer Richard Madley, who will be the sole arbiter to all aspects of the auction, the IPL said in a statement ahead of the pioneering effort.

Commenting on the player auction guidelines, IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi said, ''The player auction rule is our attempt to make tomorrow's auction a huge success.'' ''The Governing Council of the DLF Indian Premier League is pulling out all stops to ensure a free, transparent and fair bidding process for a truly historic first ever auction of cricketers in India,'' he added.


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