Sounds fun doesn't it? - after all the only thing required is a suitcase full of dollars and knowledge about the players available. That can't be difficult can it? All 8 franchisees have truck loads of dollars and they know their cricketers.
But its not as simple as it sounds. There are certain restrictions in place which have given this IPL player auction the image of a mathematical problem rather than a selectorial headache.
You have to spend a minimum of $3.3 million but can't go above $5 million.
You have to choose 8 international players
You have to choose 4 under 22 players
You have to choose 4 players from the local catchment areas
You can choose as many Indian players as you like
You cannot have more than 2 Australian players in the same team
You cannot choose Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, or Yuvraj unless you are Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, or Mohali respectively. The same is being requested for Laxman (Hyderabad) and Sehwag (Delhi).
The above mentioned Icon players will earn 15% more than your highest paid cricketer
Those of you who play the several fantasy cricket games on the web would be familiar with such selectorial headaches - fixed budget to use, best players priced too highly to fit into one team, restrictions on number of bowlers, batsmen, and allrounders, restrictions from which country they are from, and so on. Its a dream come true for us fantasy cricket lovers to see the best being auctioned for real dollars unlike the imaginary numbers we play with on ESPN's Super Selector or Cricinfo Fantasy.
An Investment Banker will also be useful - he would develop a model showcasing the different combinations and permutations needed to get the best team fulfilling the whole criteria and one that will ensure returns on the money spent.
Note to SRK and Preity Zinta: I am an investment banker and quite good at fantasy cricket and for you I will work for FREE! (All I require is a visa to India and a flight there tonight, I will pull an allnighter to develop a team and a bid for the auction tomorrow)
So the question is who do you choose? How do you garantee you get the players you want? What is the combination that will get you the crowds and win matches at the same time? Given that its a 20-20 tournament, do you choose senior and exerienced cricketers or rising young ones? Your XI is only allowed to field 4 international cricketers but you can have 8 in your squad - how do you come up with a good mix? How big can you go on your bid for Shane Warne or Glen McGrath given that you have to pay 15% higher to your Icon? Will Hayden make a good opening partner with Saurav or Sachin? Do you want Gilchrist or Dhoni?