Sri Lanka great and Indian Premier League’s highest-wicket taker Lasith Malinga is back in the auction pool ahead of the 12th edition of the cash-rich league, scheduled to start in the third week of March.
Malinga, who had been three-time champions Mumbai Indians’ key player over the years, has listed himself among nine players with the maximum base price of Rs 2 crore for the auction, which will be held in Jaipur on December 18.
The 35-year-old’s decision to make himself available for IPL 2019 helps raise a few eyebrows as the pacer joined Mumbai Indians as a mentor last season after going unsold in the auction in January ahead of the 11th season.
However, Malinga, who had been troubled in the recent past by injuries, made a successful comeback to international cricket in 2018 and is bidding to represent Sri Lanka at next year’s World Cup.
Meanwhile, Australia’s T20I captain Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell have made themselves unavailable for IPL 2019 after being released by Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals, respectively.
The two Australian batsmen have made the decision, keeping in mind a busy schedule and the Cricket World Cup, which will start in England, weeks after the conclusion of IPL, according to ESPNCricinfo.
While the IPL is expected to run from the third week of March to mid-May, the World Cup-bound Australian players have been asked by Cricket Australia to return for a preparatory camp by May 2, the report added.
Barring the West Indies and New Zealand, all other countries have put restrictions on the players’ availability for the 12th season of IPL.
World Cup-bound English players have been requested to return home by April 25, while South Africa players are expected to join a preparatory camp by May 10, and Sri Lankans by May 6. Bangladesh players and Ireland players have also been asked to head back home by April 15 and April 30, respectively.
A total of 1003 players have registered themselves for the 70 spots available in the eight IPL franchises. There will be 232 overseas players, who have thrown their hat in the ring and 800 uncapped players with 746 of them being Indians.
Among the foreign players, 35 Australians have registered themselves while 27 players are from Afghanistan. The highest number of players registered — 59 — are from South Africa while USA, Hong Kong and Ireland have one player each in the initial list.
England’s Sam Curran, Colin Ingram, Chris Woakes and Australia’s D’Arcy Short, Shaun Marsh, along with Angelo Mathews, and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson are part of the Rs 2 crore base-price club.
Fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat, who was released by Rajasthan Royals, has listed himself for Rs 1.5 crore, the maximum base price for an Indian.
All-rounder Yuvraj Singh has listed himself for Rs 1 crore, so have wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, spinner Axar Patel and pacers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.
The list will be further pruned for the auction with franchises being given time till December 10 to submit their wish-list of players.
Another notable development will be the absence of auctioneer Richard Madley, who became a regular feature during the IPL auctions over the years. (Courtesy India Today)