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Smith, Moeen Ali head massive list of players registered for IPL mini-auction

It is a jumbo list as 1,097 players, 283 of them from overseas, have registered for the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction scheduled on February 18. Only a maximum of 61 will bag new contracts. With only 22 overseas slots vacant, the remaining contracts will go to Indian players.

Australia’s Steve Smith, who has been released by Rajasthan Royals, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, seeking a return to IPL after serving an anti-corruption suspension, Harbhajan Singh and Kedar Jadhav—both released by Chennai Super Kings—are amongst the 11 prominent names to have kept their base price at the high end of Rs.2 crore.

With the England Cricket Board (ECB) happy to use IPL as a vehicle to improve its players’ T20 skills, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy and Mark Wood are all going with the high base price of Rs.2 crore. Dawid Malan, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid and David Willey have kept their base price at Rs.1.5 crore.

As many as 56 West Indies players, 42 Australians, and 38 South Africans have registered for the auction. The final list will be pruned once the franchises show interest in specific players.

Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Shivam Dube and Varun Aaron are among 21 capped Indian players who have registered.

Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun, 21, a left-arm seamer, has registered for the first time at a base price of Rs.20 lakh. World Cup-winning paceman S Sreesanth, who has returned to the game at 37 after serving a seven-year match-fixing ban, has also registered, at a base price of Rs.75 lakh.

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