There is already a big void in the life of cricket fans since the conclusion IPL 2020 and the fans have forgot what they were doing in the 7.30 to 11.30 window before the IPL. That’s the impact of IPL in each and every cricket fan's life but good news is fans don’t have to wait for another year for the next season to start as IPL 2021 is just 6 months away from now.
Let's take a look at IPL 2021 Mega Auction, IPL Auction Date, Likely Retentions & RTM, Rules, News Updates and related details
There is a common saying that half the battle is won by a franchise in the auction before taking the field. Such is the significance of auction and with the possibility of an additional team in IPL 2021, the auction becomes all the more important than one expects it to be.
The auction for the 14th edition of IPL is tentatively scheduled to take place in January but that will only be finalized after knowing the details about the participation of the 9th team in the tournament.
This is an event which every other team would be anticipating to, except Mumbai Indians for obvious reasons. Mega auction is the biggest event that a team like Rajasthan Royals or Kings XI Punjab or even Chennai Super Kings would be welcoming with both hands.
In all likelihood, there will be a mega auction for the year 2021 if a new team is inducted as the new franchise has to build the team from the scratch and without the bulk of the heavyweights in auction, it will be one difficult job for the new franchise.
What are IPL 2021 Mega Auction rules?
If it is deemed to be a mega auction, teams like Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals would be pondering about the retentions and right to match cards.
• A team can retain up to 3 players straight up which can have a maximum of 2 overseas recruits.
• They can also use 2 RTM (Right-To-Match) cards exclusively at the auction table to take back the player who have played for them in the previous year.
• If a team has already retained 2 overseas players, they can’t use RTM for an overseas recruit whereas they can use 2 RTMs if they haven’t retained any overseas players or 1 RTM if they have retained a overseas player before auction.
This mega auction (if it goes ahead) will be one of the most intriguing auctions ever. The Indian Premier League when it started, the teams didn’t have any clear picture of how an auction works or what were the dynamics of auction but in the last 2 years or so, the game has evolved a lot and teams are doing a lot of ground work to structure their team to be the best of the lot.
Will there be a new IPL team, a 9th franchise?
There isn’t any official news yet from BCCI, there is a strong possibility that IPL can eventually turn into a 9 team tournament in the year 2021 with a franchise based out of Ahmedabad being the 9th team. IPL started as an eight team tournament in the inaugural edition and became a 10 team tournament in 2011 which in turn became a 9 team tournament in 2012 and 2013 but the 9th team was scrapped due to various reasons after 2013 and since then it has been an eight team tournament.
With clouds over 9th team gaining attention, one has to wait for further developments on this news.
Where is IPL 2021?
IPL 2020 was staged in UAE citing the novel corona virus pandemic but the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was sure of conducting the next edition of IPL in India. When asked about the rumors of next IPL being conducted in UAE as well, Sourav Ganguly said to India Today that,
No, no it’s not true. The UAE was only for the IPL. Yeah, yeah. We will host England in India. We will host domestic cricket in India. Ranji Trophy, we will create a bio bubble and we will do it.
The 14th edition of IPL will take place in the usual April-June window.
IPL 2021 Retentions, RTM by likelihood ahead of IPL 2021 mega auction
All the teams will have task cut out as they have to decide on the retentions which is the most important thing for teams like DC, MI and RCB who all have a well settled core at this point in time. They have to retain the players in such a way that their core remains unaffected but at the same time teams like RR, CSK and KXIP all will be looking to grab a couple of heavyweights from the big 3 teams to change the dynamics of their side.
The defending champions have the strongest core of them all and they have the biggest headache when it comes to retention. In all probability they will be looking to retain Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah which will leave them with 2 RTMs which they can use it on Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard.
Delhi Capitals might look to retain their captain Shreyas Iyer, the wicket-keeping batsman Rishabh Pant, and the protea speedster Kagiso Rabada. If they retain the aforementioned players, they will have one RTM for an overseas player which they might look to use it on Marcus Stoinis and another RTM might be pointing towards Prithvi Shaw or Ravichandran Ashwin.
They have to make the hardest decision of leaving out Kane Williamson as they already have David Warner and Rashid Khan for retentions. They might retain Manish Pandey as well, with 2 RTMs most likely to be used on Abdul Samad and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
They have had the best auction since ages for the year 2020 and that might go in vain if they fail to retain right players. They have 3 obvious choice for retention in Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal. The most difficult part for them will be the proper usage of RTMs as they have a whole lot of options for that. Ideally, Devdutt Padikkal and Navdeep Saini or Chris Morris should be their first priority RTM options.
Kolkata Knight Riders
They have found themselves in a tricky situation as they can’t retain all of Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. With the recent form Sunil Narine has shown, it should be Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell taking precedence with Shubman Gill for retention. The 2 RTMs can be used on Varun Chakravarthy and Nitish Rana.
Kings XI Punjab
Though they have endured a disappointing season, this time around, they have got a good bunch of players whom they can look to invest on. They will retain KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran who are all straightforward options.
The RTM can be used on Mohammad Shami and Ravi Bishnoi which would help them to retain the core.
Chennai Super Kings
They don’t have any player worthy of retaining but they might retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Deepak Chahar and use RTM on Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
RR don’t have any difficult choices to make as they have Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Sanju Samson as direct retention options. They might have to be shrewd enough to use their RTMs wisely as they have Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal and Karthik Tyagi as options out of which they will have to choose 2 of them.
Having said that, these are all mere speculations and it will be interesting to see how the team management make their moves on retentions.