England Test captain Joe Root, allrounder Ben Stokes and Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc are among the 282 overseas players who have signed up to be part of the 2018 IPL auction on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru.
The long list submitted to the eight franchises contains 1122 players and is set to be pruned further once the teams submit their wishlists to the IPL. The long list has 281 capped players and 838 uncapped players, including 778 Indians and three players from the Associate nations.
Chris Gayle, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada are some of the other big names to feature in the auction. The Indian roster is headlined by players like R Ashwin, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, and Gautam Gambhir.
The IPL had recently framed its retention rules for the 2018 season and allowed franchises to retain a maximum of five players through a combination of retention and Right to Match cards. Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah were among the 18 players retained by franchises.
Speculation around Root’s participation in the IPL also increased after he committed to play in the T20I tri-series in Australia and New Zealand next month, against the advice of coach Trevor Bayliss. Two years ago, Root skipped the IPL auction because he wanted to establish himself as a premier Test batsman.
The most overseas entries in the auction are from Australia – 58 players. South Africa are close behind with 57, and Sri Lanka and West Indies have 39 each. There are 13 players from Afghanistan in the auction.