Mumbai, Dec 14 (IANS) India’s World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will be hogging the limelight as the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises from Pune and Rajkot meet here on Tuesday to pick their five key players each from the 50-player draft.
Last week, it was Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka’s group New Rising which had pocketed the bid for the Pune franchise and smartphones manufacturer Intex won the bid for Rajkot in a reverse-bidding process.
The two new teams replace Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) who have been banned from the tournament for the next two years.
On Tuesday, Pune will have the first chance to pick a player as they were the lowest bidders in auction to pick a franchise and, therefore, might opt to rope in iconic wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni as the man to lead them from the front.
But it will be interesting to see if the present One-Day and T20 captain still has the hype surrounding him which was there when he was picked up for Rs.6 crore by Chennai for the first edition of the IPL.
The two new franchises will have a purse of Rs.40 to Rs.66 crore in which they to buy the cricketers.
The players are from the two suspended franchises and they will be segregated into two pools capped and uncapped. Each side can pick five players each. The first capped player for both teams will be commanding a price of Rs.12.5 crore and the remaining four will be picked up for Rs.9.5 crore, Rs.7.5 crore, Rs.5.5 crore and Rs.4 crore, respectively.
Uncapped players can be picked for a stipulated fee of Rs.4 crore.
Other heavyweights to watch out for in the draft will be Australians Steven Smith and Shane Watson, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, and Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane.