TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
SEVERAL of South Africa’s finest cricketers will hope to secure some of the R285.5-million in salaries that will be carved up at the Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction in Bangalore on February 20.
The eight franchises have already burned through R763.7-million in signing players for this year’s tournament, which is scheduled to start in the first week of April.
An IPL release said more than 750 hopefuls would be up for auction, but that no more than 76 could be snapped up.
Twenty-eight could be from elsewhere than India.
Franchises could each have up to 27 players on their books, nine of them foreigners.
All of which will be of interest to the prominent South African players who were among the 63 released by IPL franchises in December.
They are Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Farhaan Behardien, Kyle Abbott, Albie Morkel, Marchant de Lange and David Wiese.
Steyn has said he will skip the tournament to concentrate on returning to action successfully from the fractured shoulder he suffered during South Africa’s test series in Australia in November, while Morkel has not bowled a ball in anger since then because of a back injury.
But the remaining seven will no doubt be keen to put their names in the lucrative hat again, along with Mitchell Johnson, Eoin Morgan and Trent Boult, who were also shown the door in December.
That is if Abbott’s new employers, Hampshire, agree to let their Kolpak signing disappear for up to seven weeks that coincide with the county season.
Kevin Pietersen, who was paid R6.9-million by Rising Pune Super Giants last year, was also sacked.
But he said on social media on Friday that he would not play in the IPL this year because of a busy schedule.
Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and AB de Villiers were among the 140 players retained by their franchises.
The deadline for player registration fell on Friday.