We have around 5 months for the next season of Indian Premier League but the IPL fever has already started among the Indians. The 12th season of IPL is set to take place much earlier than the usual due to the mega event, World Cup 2019. IPL is one of the most successful T20 leagues in the world. Over the last eleven years, the IPL has produced several young talents around the world. Many of them went to represent their countries with their impressive performances in the IPL.
The 12th edition of the IPL is likely to be held in South Africa due to the general election in India. Each and every franchise will get a cap of Rs. 3 crores along with the balance left after last year's IPL auction. So, the franchises have a lot of work before the next IPL auction as they would look to fill the voids in their team for the IPL 2019.
As the teams are looking to strengthen the squad, the eight franchises will be keeping their eyes on some players. Over the years, we have seen the several cricketers who have fetched big bucks in the IPL auction. Here are the five players who can go for big money at the IPL auction which is to be held in mid-December.
#5 Qais Ahmad
The young cricketer from Afghanistan, Qais Ahmad can fetch a good amount in the next IPL auction. The 18-year-old represented Afghanistan in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup and was the leading wicket-taker for his team in the tournament. His impressive performance in the U19 World Cup earned him a contract with Balkh Legends in the Afghanistan Premier League. Ahmad played an important role for his team and helped his team to clinch the trophy with his fifer in the final of the tournament.
He also represented St. Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League in 2018. So far, he has taken 22 wickets in 17 T20 innings that he played at an impressive average of 16.90 with the best bowling figure of 5 for 18. The young sensation from Afghanistan can be an asset to any side. He might induce a war between the franchises as there are a few teams that need a quality leg-spinner in their line-up.
#4 Luke Ronchi
Luke Ronchi is one of the hardest and cleanest hitters of the cricket ball. Ronchi, who represented Australia and New Zealand at an international level, has an amazing record in the T20 format. He has the ability to smash both the pacers and spinners over the boundary rope.
He made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2008 and spent two years with them. Since then, he never appeared in the cash-rich T20 league despite having impressive records in the T20s. He continues to feature in the T20 tournaments around the world after having retired from international cricket.
During the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast, he aggegrated 429 runs at a phenomenal strike-rate of 180.25 as an opener. Ronchi, who smashed 16 balls fifty in the T20 Blast tournament, scored 19-ball fifty for Islamabad United during the 3rd edition of Pakistan Super League. He also represented Kabul in the first edition of Afghanistan Premier League and gave the decent starts to his team.
The New Zealand born wicket-keeper has been in good form as he scored 2013 runs in 71 innings at a strike-rate of 163.26 since the start of 2017. Ronchi is likely to fetch a big amount in the 2019 IPL auction as most of the teams do not have reliable opening batsman.
#3 Jonny Bairstow
The wicket-keeper batsman from England, Jonny Bairstow is arguably one of the underrated cricketers in the world. He has won matches single-handedly for his country, however, he went unsold in the last Indian Premier League auction. His aggressive game style cemented his place in all forms of the game. Thus far, Bairstow has played 96 games and scored 1649 runs at a strike-rate of 126.45 with the best knock of unbeaten 102.
He has not ever played the IPL but has a strike-rate of around 130 for his country in the shortest format of the game. He is still one of the most dangerous T20 players around the world and the IPL franchises will look to grab him as he has the ability to bat at any position. If things go well, Kings XI Punjab or Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to buy him in the upcoming auction as they do not have a specialist wicket-keeper batsman in their squad.
#4 Hazratullah Zazai
The left-handed opener from Afghanistan, Hazratullah Zazai has been in great form for his country. At the age of just 20 years, he has already broken several records in the cricket. One of the hard-hitting batsmen from Afghanistan, Zazai helped his team to clinch the T20 International series against Ireland. He scored back-to-back fifties during the series against Ireland, even outscoring the same team with his 82 off 54 balls in the 3rd T20I.
But it was in the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League that he grabbed the headlines when he smashed six sixes in an over for Kabul Zwanan against Balkh Legends. Zazai, who already scored 44-ball century in the same tournament, equalled Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle's record of 12-ball fifty.
Despite most of the teams having some good opening batsmen, the Afghanistan opener is can fetch big bucks in the 2019 IPL auction. Rajasthan Royals will look to acquire him in the auction as they don't have any explosive batsman to open the innings with Jos Buttler.
#1 Shimron Hetmyer
Shimron Hetmyer has been in phenomenal touch for his country and is likely to fetch a big amount in the upcoming IPL auction. In the recently concluded ODI series against India, he dominated the Indian bowling line-up as he scored a century and an important 94.
His consistent performances in the domestic cricket earned him a contract in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2016. He was bought by Guyana Amazon Warriors and became the youngest batsman to smash a century in CPL when he made 100 for Guyana against Jamaica Tallawahs in 2018. So far, the youngster has played 15 T20s and scored 447 runs at a massive strike-rate of 147.52.
Hetmyer is an asset to any team in the shortest format of the game. He is likely to start a war between the franchises and is one of the favourites to fetch the highest price in the 2019 IPL auction.