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IPL Auction Rules 2021

The IPL Auctions are a major event in the franchise-based cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League. In the IPL Auctions, players from all around the world put up their contracts for sale and the eight IPL teams bid to procure them. However, the IPL Auctions are governed by a certain set of rules which all the eight franchisees and the participating players must abide by in order to be a part of the Auctions.


Table of Contents


  1. What is the eligibility criteria to register for IPL Auction?
  2. How do teams prepare for the Auctions?
  3. How is the Base Price of players decided for the IPL Auctions?
  4. How many players can be retained by a team?
  5. What is RTM in IPL Auction Rules?
  6. Will all players be auctioned on their first day?
  7. What is the accelerated process of bidding?
  8. How do the teams get the funds for buying the players?
  9. How much can each franchise spend?
  10. IPL Auction Rules on Squad Strength
  11. What are the Trading Windows and Player Replacement policies in IPL?
  12. What happens to the unsold players after the Auctions?
  13. Who gets the IPL Auction money?
  14. How are IPL Mega Auction Rules different from IPL Auctions Rules?


What is the eligibility criteria to register for IPL Auction?


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The Board of Cricket Control in India stated in a letter addressed to State Associations, that the Board will not be engaging in any communications with any player agent/manager regarding the registration of the said player in IPL Auctions. According to IPL Auction Rules 2021, the only form of communication will exist between the state association and the BCCI. BCCI very recently declared, February 4, 2021 as the deadline for players without contracts to make online submission for the tournament's player auction agreements. For submissions by post the deadline has been set for February 12, 2021.


Eligibility Criteria for an Indian under-19 Player


The BCCI has set the following norms for Indian under-19 players willing to feature in the IPL 2021 Auctions.


  1. Must be registered as a player with a state association.
  2. Must have played in at least one match in either first-class cricket or List A cricket.
  3. Must be born on or after 1 April 2002.


Eligibility Criteria for an uncapped Player who has retired from Domestic Cricket


The BCCI's IPL Auction rules stated the condition that for an uncapped player who has retired from domestic cricket, to feature in the IPL Auctions, the player will have to seek approval from it.

"Any uncapped player who has retired from domestic cricket, can only submit his auction agreement for player registration after getting written approval from BCCI"


How do teams prepare for the Auctions?


IPL Auctions are serious events and teams go into them fully prepared and planned. The teams undergo prolonged deliberations with the staff and management, the coaches, the IPL retained players and captains before the Auctions. Going into the event, the teams have a fair idea of who they want and what is the maximum amount of money they are willing to spend for a particular player. As IPL Auctions are team building in nature, the synergy of the entire team has to be taken into consideration. The captain's and the coaches play a major role in the Auctions.


IPL Auction Rules

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How is the Base Price of players decided for the IPL Auctions?


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The Base Price of a player is the price at which teams start bidding for them. It ranges between 20 Lacs to 2 Crores


Indian Players


The State Associations under which a player is having their First-Class contracts, is communicated by the BCCI, regarding Base Prices for the players.


Point to be noted is that a player has the right to decrease or increase the price if they feel so.


International Players


International Players set their own Base Price.


How many players can be retained by a team?


IPL Auctions Rules and IPL Mega Auctions Rules are different from each other as far as player retention is concerned.


IPL Auctions


In IPL Auctions, also known as IPL Mini Auctions, every team has the right to release or retain any number of players.


IPL Mega Auctions


In IPL Mega Auctions, each of the eight teams get the opportunity to retain a maximum of five players by a combination of the following methods:


  1. Direct Retention
  2. RTM


By direct retention, a team can retain a maximum of three players and then they get two RTM cards at their disposal. However if a team decides to retain only two players via direct retention, then they get three RTM cards. But it is not possible to retain more than three or less than two players by either of the methods.


Also each team can retain


  1. A maximum 3 capped Indian players
  2. A maximum 2 overseas players
  3. A maximum 2 uncapped Indian players


IPL mega auction rules

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What is RTM in IPL Auction Rules?


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RTM or Right to match is a card which can be used by a team to retain a player at the Mega Auctions by paying the exact amount so as to match the winning bid for that particular player. It is one of the two ways by which a team can retain their star players in the IPL Mega Auctions.


  1. Each team gets a minimum of two and a maximum of three RTM Cards.
  2. The RTM must be executed so that it follows the rule of a maximum of 3 capped Indian players, a maximum of 2 International players and a maximum of 2 uncapped players being retained in total.


Will all players be auctioned on their first day?


No, all players are not auctioned in the first day. IPL Auctions are two-day affairs. To make the auction a smooth process, the Marquee players are auctioned first at the beginning of Day-1. The Marquee list is then followed by a number of other players. On the second day of auction, we see the accelerated bidding process, the remaining players and the unsold players going under the hammer.


What is the accelerated process of bidding?


At the end of Day-1 of the Auctions, all the eight franchisees are allowed to nominate a set of players from the remaining players. They form a part of the “accelerated bidding” process. The list has to be submitted on the first day itself before 10 pm. This compiled list of nominated players, then undergoes the bidding the next day as a part of the accelerated bidding process.


How do the teams get the funds for buying the players?


Teams procure funds for buying players by the following sources:


  1. Team Sponsors
  2. Title Sponsors
  3. Home Games
  4. Merchandising Products
  5. Player Trades


How much can each franchise spend?


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To ensure a fair Auction, the BCCI sets a cap on the budget for all the teams before the Auctions. The budget may or may not get revised before a Mega Auction. The budget for each of the franchisees before a Mini Auction or an IPL Auction is calculated by taking the following factors into consideration:


  1. The budget they left with from the previous IPL Auctions.
  2. The budget which gets re-added after they release players into the auction pool.


As of now, all the sight franchisees have a maximum budget of ₹ 85 crores to build their squad.


Check the updated RCB 2021 retained players list here.


IPL Auction Rules on Squad Strength


The maximum squad strength for each team is that of 25 players. However, every team must have at least 18 players in their respective squads.


Indian Players : Capped and Uncapped


A team can have a minimum of 17 and a maximum of 25 Indian players in their squad, both capped and uncapped.


International Players


A team can have a maximum of eight International players in their squad.


IPL Auction Rules 2021

Image Credit: Cricfit


What are the Trading Windows and Player Replacement policies in IPL?


The unsold players at the end of the auction are also in contention to be brought in as replacements any time before or during the tournament.


Trading Window


Trading Window is an opportunity for the IPL franchisees to trade players during the auction. This can be done only with the consent of the players involved. Cost differences if any, between the old and new contracts will be borne by the franchisees involved. In a case where the new contract is more lucrative than the older one, the profit would be shared by the player and his old franchise. Trading is prohibited outside the trading window or during the tournament.


Player Replacement Policies


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Teams can procure replacement for their players, due to the reasons, like unavailability, injury and as such. Replacement can happen at any time including during the ongoing tournament. Although unlikely, teams can acquire unsold players from the auctions as replacement for their outgoing players.


What happens to the unsold players after the Auctions?


If a player goes unsold in the first round of IPL Auctions, he might be bought by a team in the subsequent rounds, including the accelerated round. However if a player is unsold by the time the Auctions come to an end, it becomes evidently clear that he will not participate in that year's IPL. In case one of the players from a team gets injured, an unsold player might still get a chance, but that is seldom the case.


Who gets the IPL Auction money?


The player whose contract has been bought for three years by a franchise gets the amount of the winning bid, each year for the next three years. For example, if a player is bought in the auction for ₹ 1 Crore, the franchise pays him ₹ 1 Crore every year for the next 3 years.


How are IPL Mega Auction Rules different from IPL Auctions Rules?


IPL Mini Auctions and IPL Mega Auctions are not the same event. IPL Mega Auctions are held once every three years whereas IPL Auctions are held every year within that three year period. Auctions are held to ensure that teams get an opportunity to refresh their team balance as well as it's an opportunity for players all around the world and especially Indian uncapped players to enter the Indian Premier League.


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The only difference between IPL Auctions and IPL Mega Auctions is that, before an IPL Mega Auctions each team can retain only five of their players at maximum. However in IPL Auction a.k.a. IPL mini Auctions, there is no limit on the number of players which any particular franchisee could retain.


Another difference is that for the IPL Mega Auctions, each team also gets 'Right to Match' cards. The RTM card can be used by an IPL team owner to match the winning auction amount for one of their ex-players to buy back that particular player's contract. In other words if a team has not retained a particular player but who was a part of their last squad and has now been bought by another team, they can use the 'Right to Match' card, and buy the player's contract by matching the winning bid. Every team gets a maximum of three and a minimum of two RTM cards in the Mega Auctions depending on the number of players they have retained using the direct method.


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