The day has finally come when the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises will get in one place and place bid for 332 cricketers as the auction for IPL 2020 will take place in Kolkata on December 19, with 73 spots to be filled by various teams. This is a mini-auction given the limited number of spots left in the team.
One of the franchises that will be bidding heavily in the auction will be Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who released more than 10 players in the trading window. Their new management under the director of cricket Mike Hesson and coach Simon Katich have decided to retain just AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali as the foreign players.
The team has been finishing at the bottom half of the points table for the past two seasons and despite best efforts, is yet to match the heights they got in the 2016 edition. They had reached the finals of the tournament in emphatic fashion but has failed to sustain that momentum in future editions.
Virat Kohli has been part of the process: Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson, who was the coach of Kings XI Punjab in the last two editions, was named the director of cricket for RCB and recently appeared on the ‘IPL Auction curtain-raiser’ show on Star Sports and revealed some of the backstage process of how they have prepared for the auction and involvement of captain Virat Kohli.
“We have already been working for the past couple of months, which included doing mock auctions between us, which now has to reflect. Additionally, we have been doing lots of research work on players whom we have been interested in, like identifying the right role, we want people to play and we feel will fit the bill,” Hesson was quoted as saying during the show.
Virat Kohli will not be attending the auction given that he is with the Indian team travelling to Cuttack for the third ODI against West Indies. But Hesson mentioned that he will be in touch during breaks in the auction to discuss strategy and players.
“A lot also depends on how far you want to go with certain players keeping in mind the budget. Virat has been part of the process and we will be in touch with him during the break of the auction. Simon, Virat and I have been part of lots of meetings. Also, to name a few players whom I feel might be collecting big paycheques are, Robin (Uthappa) and young Tom Banton,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kohli in a video had assured the RCB fans of covering all the bases and building a strong team for the IPL 2020.
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