Players in IPL to be auctioned today

GOA: The auction for the second season of the Indian Premier League will take place today in the morning in Goa. At Thursday''s press conference, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi explained some of the finer details of the auction process.

He said, there are five pools namely A, B, C, D and E. Pool A has the top five players in terms of minimum price, such as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff.

Each player is numbered one to five. There are five balls numbered one to five, which go into a pack. Somebody is asked to pick one ball from the pack and the corresponding player is the first player up for auction.

The IPL decides the pool the players belong to. The players are drawn in the pools based on their minimum reserve price. The pools do not have the same number of players. In the first auction last year, the IPL negotiated the reserve price and also took the risk to guarantee the player the reserve price even if he was not bought at the auction.

This year, to everybody''s surprise, we had 115 entries. Some of the players were even willing to play free of cost. So this time, the IPL took no risk on setting the reserve price of the players. The players themselves decided on their reserve price. So if the players are lucky to be bought, it''s fine for them, but if not, then they are out.

A player who has signed up for the IPL cannot make himself unavailable unless he is injured or he has an existing Future Tours Programme commitment.

In the case of the Pakistani players, the IPL have been informed by the Pakistan Cricket Board the Pakistani government had refused to send their players because of the tension between the two countries.

So the IPL has given the club owners the option to terminate the contract and let the players be a free agent to come back through an auction, or to suspend their contracts.

If they suspend the player''s contract, then that slot is not available for the franchise in the auction. If they terminate the contract, the team owner will have that slot open. If they terminate the contract, and the player in question is a talented one, they would possibly have to pay a much higher price for the player the next time around.

That is probably why the Royal Challengers, Bangalore have decided not to terminate their contract with Misbah-ul Haq, the Rajasthan Royals have not terminated the contracts with Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal and Kolkata Knight Riders have only suspended their contract with Umar Gul.

Contracts with the rest of the Pakistan players, including Shoaib Akhtar''s contract with the Knight Riders, have been terminated.