London, Jan 18 (ANI): Antiques auctioneer Richard Madley, who spends most of his professional life conducting sales of oriental carpets and Art Deco jewellery than sporting talent, will be holding the hammer at the annual auction of the Indian Premier League.
Madley will be the most important man in cricket for a few hours on Tuesday.
In a sealed room in the Trident Hotel in Mumbai, he will be holding the hammer as billionaires and Bollywood stars battle to outbid each other for some of the world's top cricketers.
It is the biggest sports auction in the world, The Times reports.
The league has up to 12 places for overseas players up for grabs and it is expected that rival teams will bid about 4.5 million dollars for the names they want to fill them.
"It's a long way from the local auctions where I'm proud and happy to sell pieces from 20-30 pounds and upwards," said Madley, 52, an auctioneer.
"In one sense, this is no different from the local auction where a book is sold for 200 pounds, then turns out to be worth much, much, more. The principles are the same. People are investing in little treasures, to make money out of them," he said.
There will be eight English cricketers up for auction.
"That means there could be a lot of tactical voting. Will they spend the whole lot on one big name player, or are there some real bargains out there? Is there a young Indian spin bowler who nobody has ever heard of lurking at the bottom of the pile, who could become the next superstar? " Madley asks. (ANI)