ICC Cricket World Cup, 2014/15 news from ESPN

Thursday, December 23, 2010

IPL4: VVS, Gilly not in Deccan's plans

So now it's business time once again! IPL players' auction is round the corner and just like other teams, Deccan Chargers, too, are rolling their sleeves up to battle in the players' market. And since it is already confirmed that the big-hitting Adam Gilchirst is making his way out of the Hyderabad-based side, the options available for the 2009 champions make for an interesting reading.

Gilchrist, one of the best in the 'cricketing business', took the team's reins from VVS Laxman after the side had a disastrous inaugural season where it finished at the bottom of the points table. The swashbuckling Aussie not only brought immediate results in the next edition, but also enthused the spirit that was missing in the first season.

Though, touted as underdogs in the 2009 event, which was shifted to South Africa, Gilchrist, with good support from his former Aussie teammate Andrew Symonds and other Indian players took everyone by surprise by clinching the cash-rich event.

But since the left-hander has already made up his mind to look for other opportunities, it is interesting to notice the places he may go to.

It's already in the air that the new entrant, Pune Warriors, could take the services of the 38-year-old as he has got the perfect credence to lead the side. And with good players, decent support staff and owner's backing, he could definitely help the Sahara group-owned side to set off to a flier.

There is also a strong possibility that Kolkata Knight Riders, could rope in the experienced player, as Shah Rukh Khan and other co-owners are looking for a breath of fresh air, especially after the disappointment of the first three seasons, where it performed much below everyone's expectations.

If Sourav Ganguly — the present captain of KKR — leaves the Kolkata side, which very much seems to be on the cards, then Gilchrist could be the right person that coach Dav Whatmore and his team would like to work with.

And as the date — December 8 — to retain the four marquee players by each team is approaching, only Andrew Symonds and Kemar Roach are certain to have a long run for the Deccan side.

There is no chance that Herschelle Gibbs, who has been in the news lately more for his controversial book than his cricketing credentials, will be retained. It is also certain that Chaminda Vass, who is over 36 years of age, will make the cut. West Indian Dwayne Smith had already got an extended spell with the franchise, so it is unlikely that he would be a part of the set up this time.

Two other Australians, young Mitchell Marsh and pacer Ryan Harris who were impressive with the limited outings they got, are not the best bargains with the amount of money at stake.

Since maximum of only three Indian players can be retained by a franchise, for most of the players, it's a battle of survival as few may just not be picked by the same side or may be by any.

The most interesting case will be of VVS Laxman. The stylish Hyderabadi batsman has been on a roll — playing vital innings and scoring tons of runs — in the longest version of the game. But still many find him slow for the fast-pace cricket. His ground fielding, except standing in slips, has always been under the scanner.

And though it would be difficult to fill Gilchrist's shoes but another Australian, who is as competent as the left hander, Shane Warne could be the perfect replacement for the wicket-keeper batsman. The former Aussie great had a dream inaugural season with the Rajasthan Royals, helping them winning the trophy in 2008.

However, his availability will depend on whether the Jaipur-based team gets the chance to participate in the next edition. But if things go according to the BCCI's plan then Warne could well be in Deccan's dug out next season.

Warne's teammates in Rajasthan, Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan, could also be the lucky one if being selected for the Chargers. Same holds true for Kings XI Punjab's Sri Lankan veterans, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. The two Sri Lankans are looking certain to leave the Mohali side, especially after the dreadful outing they had in the last three years.

So the stage is set and the players are ready to be under the hammer and now everything depends on how quickly Deccan charges itself up to make a move in the players' auction.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lara, Gilly in top bracket for IPL auction

Dec 21, 2010 Former West Indies great Brian Lara, dashing Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist and hard-hitting Chris Gayle are among the overseas players who have been put in the top price bracket for the January 8 and 9 players' auction for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League(IPL).

Around 400 foreign players have expressed their willingness to be a part of the cash-rich event. They have been classified in six brackets ranging from $20,000 to $400,000.

Defending World T20 champions England have six players - Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright and Michael Yardy - in top bracket. New Zealand have their skipper Daniel Vettori, deputy Ross Taylor and wicketkeeper batsman Brendon McCullum in the top rung.

The Australians have only three players - Shaun Marsh, Gilchrist and Brett Lee - in the top bracket base price. The Hussey brothers Mike and David are in the second base price bracket of $300,000, while T20 and ODI specialist David Warner is in the third bracket with a base price of $200,000.

It is also learnt that, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting's names did not figure in the list that the IPL governing council had sent to the franchisees.

Surprisingly, Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara is missing from the top group as only two Sri Lankans - Mahela Jayawardene and TM Dilshan - have found place. South African captain Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers are in the elite group as well.

There are however no Bangaldeshis in the top bracket as Shakib Al-Hasan gets the highest base price of $200,000, while Mohammed Ashraful and Tamim Iqbal have base prices of $50,000 and 100,000 respectively.

Top Bracket Base Price ($400,000)

England: Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum

Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, Brett Lee

South Africa: Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.

Sri Lanka: TM Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Brian Lara