Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 18 (ANI): Former Australian skipper and Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Thursday teased Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
The "mini-auction" this year would witness 291 players going under the hammer and all these cricketers have been shortlisted by the eight franchises. A total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas players, and 3 players from associate nations are up for grabs in the mini-auction.
Ponting is gearing up to pick players for this year's IPL and is hoping that former New Zealand batsman McCullum doesn't outbid him on Thursday during the auction.
"Looking forward to the IPL auction tonight with @delhicapitals and filling out our squad for the season. Hope moneybags @bazmccullum doesn't outbid me again though," Ponting tweeted.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals retained 19 players including six overseas stars while six players including Alex Carey, Jason Roy, and Sandeep Lamichhane were released from the squad for the 2021 edition of the IPL.
The players who were retained by the franchise from last season include Indian internationals Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, and Ravichandran Ashwin, along with Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, and Avesh Khan.
Delhi Capitals had also retained six overseas players which include last season's Purple Cap winner Kagiso Rabada, along with his South African pace partner Anrich Nortje, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer, and English bowler Chris Woakes.
On the other hand, KKR released Tom Banton and Chris Green from their squad ahead of the auction. Along with Green and Banton, Siddesh Lad and Nikhil Naik were also released.
Pat Cummins who was bought for Rs 15.5 crore for the IPL 2020 season was retained and he will once again be seen donning purple and gold.
Coming back to the auction, Rs 2 crore is the highest reserve price and two Indian players - Harbhajan Singh and Kedar Jadhav - and eight overseas players - Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, and Mark Wood chose to be slotted in the highest bracket.
However, right on the eve of the auction, England pacer Wood decided to withdraw his name in order to spend time with his family, reported ESPNcricinfo.
12 players are on the auction list with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Hanuma Vihari and Umesh Yadav are the two Indian players in the list of 11 cricketers with a base price of Rs 1 crore. (ANI)