NEW DELHI: A fierce bidding war for Indian stars, including Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir, will headline the upcoming IPL auction which will see more than 1000 players go under the hammer.
Besides the 2011 World Cup-winning trio, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav and openers K L Rahul and Murali Vijay are likely to be on top of every franchise's wish list.
A whopping 1122 players have signed to be part of the upcoming auction, the BCCI announced today. The auction is scheduled to take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.
Among the international cricketers, Chris Gayle and Ben Stokes lead the list. While Stokes, the costliest buy in 2017, played only one season, Gayle was not retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The list, sent out to the eight IPL franchises, has 281 capped players, 838 uncapped players, including 778 Indians and three players from the Associate nations.
About 282 overseas - 58 from Australia, 57 from South Africa, 39 each from Sri Lanka and West Indies, 30 from New Zealand, and 26 from England have registered for the auction.
From Australia, hoping to show his full range of strokes in this edition's IPL will be Glenn Maxwell along with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson, who bowled Mumbai Indians to their third title last season with his final over heroics.
England's Test captain, Joe Root, has also thrown his hat into the ring along with big names like Ben Stokes, Chris Lynn, Eoin Morgan and pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Dwayne Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Evin Lewis and Jason Holder will add the Caribbean flavor to the auction.
Hashim Amla, who hit two centuries for Kings XI Punjab in the 10th season, will be hoping for a high bid with compatriots Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller and speedsters Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada.
Kane Williamson, Colin Munro and Tom Latham from New Zealand will add the Kiwi charm.
Afghanistan, too, will see 13 players along with eight from Bangladesh, two from Ireland, seven from Zimbabwe and two from the USA.