The Season of one of the most popular sports events is here and it begins with a lot of roar. In the wake of all the hush-hush conspiracies between cricketers of different countries, some players have earned good amount of brownie points in the Pepsi Indian Premier League Season 8 (IPL-8) auction.

England’s discarded star Kevin Pietersen and India’s discarded hero Yuvraj Singh are amongst the people who are settled with the highest base price of Rs.2 Crores each, along with Dinesh Karthik and South Africa Test captain Hashim Amla.

A lot has changed in this one year, not just the venue in terms of the resumption to India being the sole host unlike last year or the auction event being trimmed to just one day but the expectations of the fans from players who have been deprived of their part by their respective teams in late 2014 have soared.

The long player list comprises 724 names accessed by ESPNcricinfo include both Indian and overseas players. (The final number of players in the auction pool is not clear because the deadline for franchises to prune the original list has been deferred to February 4)

Franchises have retained 123 players in total (79 Indians and 44 Overseas) vis-à-vis last year where only 514 went under the hammer and only 154 were sold at the 2-day long event.

So what does one look for from India’s most celebrated cricket tournament?

A little bit of Payback: 

The controversy over Kevin Pietersen’s statements about the hostility in the England Squad and eventually his ouster from the England team surely did not do any good for his cricketing career. The embarrassing incident of Kevin Pietersen’s “being available” tweet to Tony Abott, on the other hand, is best not mentioned.

Therefore, this conveys that if there’s any place right now on the face of the earth where he can prove himself, it has to be the IPL 8. The last year’s edition got him to play at a price of Rs. 9 Crores and with the highest base price this year too, we can expect some massive destruction driven by the will to turn to tables for him, no matter in which team this immensely skilled person ends.

Old Wine, New Bottle: 

When everyone talks about the benefits of the new and young Team India, it would not be correct to ignore the experience that the senior players have and newbies lack. This is one major task at Yuvraj Singh’s disposal ahead. There has been more than one incidence in the past where Yuvraj was ditched by his team and he bounced back in the domestic/first class matches and how? Bought at Rs.14 Crores by RCB last year may not have given the Mallya’s “value for their money” but the struggle for limelight which Yuvraj suffered when he had some crude hitters like Kohli, AB de Villiers and Gayle on the same side also can’t be ignored.

The accusations of not being able to hit the ball of lately and the fresh case of not making it in the ICC World Cup Squad may have rubbed some salt on his wounds. But Yuvraj being the fighter that is, one can definitely expect him to take charge using his strong experience of the game in IPL8 keeping in mind his recent romance with the bat in First Class cricket.

Too much Drama: 

The IPL has always been immersed in a lot of drama and so is the auction, every player making news, every rupee spent meaning a lot. With Rs. 3 Crore added to each team’s purse this year, totaling upto Rs. 63 Crore; the massive increase in the number of registered players from 514 to 724 (as of now) with some big names like Eoin Morgan, Michael Hussey, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Karthik, Jacques Kallis put out in the pool for auction; the Supreme Court Verdict on Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and finally cameos from Richard Madley and Harsha Bhogle will definitely burst a lot of crackers while the spectators enjoy each and every bit of it.

More so, a combat for players can also be expected keeping in mind the colossal amounts half of the teams are still left with for the buyout of new players. 

Teams

Remaining money (Rs.)

Delhi Daredevils

40 Crore

Royal challengers Bangalore

21 Crore

Sunrisers Hyderabad

20.85 Crore

Kolkata Knight Riders

13 Crore

Rajasthan Royals

13 Crore

Mumbai Indians

10 Crore

Kings XI Punjab

11.8 Crore

Chennai Super Kings

5 Crore

 

Thus, one should just be prepared for a lot of shuffling of players between teams in this season and hope to have their favorite stars on their side.