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IPL players' auction for second season in February

IPL players' auction for second season in February

The big question is will Pakistani players be allowed to play in the IPL?

New Delhi: The Indian Premier League will start players' auction for the next season in February.

Bangalore Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya, who had publicly lambasted his team last season as losses started piling up, has clarified his team is not for sale.

Royal Challengers finished seventh out of eight teams in the inaugural IPL, which as won by Rajasthan Royals.

After the league got over, there were speculations that Mallya was putting the entire squad up for sale. However, Mallya has rubbished such reports.

"I wish to clarify that the Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL Team is not for sale and neither do we seek to transfer a majority of our current players. We have identified three foreign players who we will be wiling to swap with other IPL teams, if possible, to achieve better team balance. If this does not happen, we will further strengthen the Royal Challengers team by signing up more Indian youngsters and participating aggressively in the next player auction," said Mallya.

The auction is bound to spice up the activity over the next week as several players are said to be up for sale.

Kolkata Knight Riders' Shoaib Akhtar, Deccan Chargers' Herschelle Gibbs, Rohit Sharma and Shahid Afridi are likely to be auctioned.

Makhaya Ntini of the Chennai Super Kings is also said to be on the list but some such as Preity Zinta's Kings XI Punjab are not letting out too much information.

"As far as Kings XI is concerned we are always thinking of how to improve and what to do and talent is something that we want to bring," Ness Wadia of Kings XI Punjab said.

The other tricky issue confronting the franchises is what to do about the Pakistani players? In the current state with relations between India and Pakistan not at their best, will Pakistani players be allowed to play in the second edition?

There are 11 Pakistani players under IPL contracts and for the moment, the franchises are taking a wait and watch approach.

"Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Malik are key players in our team. We look forward to their continued participation in the IPL but let's see how things unfold in the next few months." said Delhi Daredevils' Amrit Mathur.

The final list of players on the trading list will be out in another week but it isn't just players on the transfer list who can be traded for.

Teams can negotiate among themselves for players too.

first published:December 23, 2008, 16:21 IST