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Here’s Why PSL Should Adopt an Auction Model Like IPL

The seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has entered the business end as four teams will battle it out in the PSL play-offs to get their hands on the coveted PSL trophy. While the tournament has been a massive success so far, the lack of superstars from across the world has in some way hampered the progress of the league.

There is no doubt whatsoever that PSL is one of the top franchise T20 tournaments in the world with top-quality cricket, broadcasting, production, innovation, and fanfare. While PSL is already a world-class league, there is always room for improvement. One such way to improve the standard of the league is to implement an auction model instead of the draft model.

PSL, in its seven seasons, has deployed a draft model where franchises pick players on the basis of categories. The model has so far been successful and has been beneficial for the franchises involved in the tournament but the standard of the league has taken a hit. The way to enhance the quality of the league even further is through shifting to an auction model.

What is an Auction Model?

Each of the six franchises gets a fixed budget to buy players they want for their franchise. According to the auction rules of IPL, teams have the option of not spending their whole budget but they are required to spend at least 75% of their budget.

Players from across the world register in the auction at a base price. Players can set their own base price for the auction. The bid for a player cannot go below their base price while there is no upper limit for the bid.

Each franchise is required to pick a minimum number of players in the squad. Generally, the minimum number of players in a squad is 18 while a maximum of 25 players can be picked. At least 4 foreign players are required to be picked in the squad as according to PSL rules, a minimum of 4 foreign players should be in a playing XI.

The franchise with the highest bid acquires the services of the player.

Let’s have a look at the reasons why PSL should go for an auction in PSL 2023:

Attract Top Stars

While the number of international players taking part in the league has gradually increased, there are a few international superstars who have not shown interest in PSL yet.

Players such as Jos Buttler, David Warner, Kagiso Rabada, Mitchell Starc, Ben Stokes, Pat Cummins, Quinton de Kock, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Anrich Nortje, and many more are world-class cricketers who have not participated in the league so far. Such players will not only be beneficial for the league, but it would also bring a lot of benefits for the franchises, the players, and the fans.

Implementing an auction model will help in attracting such superstars as they will be offered more money as compared to a draft model. Franchises will jump in to buy the players in accordance with their team budget while deserving players will be bought at more than their base price.

No Restrictions According to Categories

According to the draft model, the players are divided into separate categories and the franchises are required to pick a set number of players in each category. Each team will have an option to buy as many star players as they want in the auction model. This means that one franchise could potentially have a starting line-up consisting of Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Rashid Khan, Mitchell Starc, etc.

This will all depend on the franchise as to how much do they want to spend on each player and formulate their own squad within a set budget. As there will be no restrictions on the number or type of players each team can have, the potential to form star-studded squads and/or distribution of star players among various franchises will enhance the quality of competition.

Increased Fanfare

An auction will certainly attract more fans than a draft as fans will keenly follow which players their franchises will bid on. The event itself will garner a lot of attention and could provide an opportunity for the league and the franchises to build their fan following even further.

This will also provide the opportunity for the PCB to come up with innovative ideas in order engage more fans on a yearly basis. The interest of the fans in the auction will also provide an opportunity to PCB/PSL management to get more sponsorships and hence increased revenues.

Change Lives of Upcoming Players

We have witnessed the lives of numerous youngsters changing in an instant after being picked in the Indian Premier League (IPL). There have been several instances where a player gets sold out for a lot more than his base price.

Relatively unknown Indian players, Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Chakaravarthy were sold for USD 1,123,775 in the 2019 IPL auction. While Platinum category players in PSL are worth USD 170,000.

There is unlimited talent in Pakistan as well and the youngsters are waiting for an opportunity to shine. This will provide an opportunity for the PSL franchises to scout some talented players from across the country and play their part in providing them with an opportunity at the biggest stage.

The top 5 most expensive players in IPL are listed below:

Year Player Price (Indian Rupee)
2021 Chris Morris 16.25 cr
2015 Yuvraj Singh 16 cr
2020 Pat Cummins 15.5 cr
2022 Ishan Kishan 15.25 cr
2011 Gautam Gambhir 14.9 cr

PSL’s base salaries according to categories are as follows:

Category Salary Range
Platinum $130,000-170,000
Diamond $70,000-85,000
Gold $40,000-50,000
Silver $15,000-25,000
Emerging $5,000-7,500

Increased Competitiveness Between Franchises

The auction model will bring the best think-tanks from around the world on one platform. This will also enable more competition between the franchises as they will look to build the best possible squads. The focus of the franchises will be solely on winning the PSL trophy in order to earn more money. Earning more money will enhance their financial strength and they can go all out in the auction rather than saving their money.

It will be a win-win for franchises, PSL, PCB, the players and the fans as every team will look give their all to build a formidable squad.

Extra Effort From Players

The auction model will also motivate the players to play out of their skin and perform to the best of their abilities in order to earn a massive payday in the next edition. The players will look to put in extra effort to impress the franchises either to be retained or to be offered higher salaries next time around.

The players will also be wary that the franchise can part way with them and pick another better performing player in place of them which will provide them with extra motivation to perform.

Their income will be determined by the franchises and not the PCB. This will help the franchises in determining whether to pick a particular player or not. So, the effort of the player will not go in vain as his talent and hard work will be recognized.

More Sponsorships

PCB has done extremely well this season to sign a host of sponsorship deals with top companies from around the world. To get TikTok on board was a major coup for PSL and the potential for more sponsorship deals is huge.

An auction model will not only attract top players from around the world but also provide an opportunity to world renowned companies to take interest in the PSL. Top brands will be interested in the league hence PSL’s growth potential will continue to multiply.

Competition With IPL

While our readers will not be happy to read this but the matter of the fact is that PSL still has some way to go to compete with the IPL, which is arguably the biggest franchise T20 tournament in the world. While the standard of cricket in the IPL might be debatable, there is absolutely no doubt that it is the biggest brand in cricket currently.

The players, the money involved and the sponsorships make IPL much bigger than any league in the world and steps have to be taken by the PCB to match that level.

An auction model will enable the PSL to compete with the biggest league in the world. If PSL is able to attract top stars from across the world and offer them an opportunity to look for an alternative to IPL, it will lay the perfect platform for PSL to compete with IPL.

Later down the line, it could potentially lead PSL to host the tournament in the same window as the IPL which can result into a fierce competition between the two leagues. The competition to become the best league in franchise T20 will spur both the leagues to outdo each other and we as fans might get the best products from both the leagues.

They call me the Sports Guy!

  • The player names mentioned in the article are not going to participate anyway because of international commitments. PSL happens at the time of home seasons of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, hence we never had mainstream players from these teams mostly. On the other hand, England usually has winter tours scheduled in these dates hence almost impossible for players like Stokes, Buttler, etc to feature anyway. The current model seems feasible and with time the salary caps should increase as the revenues increase.

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