The deeper one looks within a game, the more games there are to see. Cricket may seem on the surface of it, a relatively straightforward matching of athletic skill and quick reflexes bound together with agile teamwork, yet there is much more to it than simply that. Strategizing occurs both off and on the field, and quick wits are demanded of all those involved.
One such test of strategic thought lies ensconced within the process of the bidding war that precedes the one to be waged on the pitch. With that in mind, the auction for the teams that would compete in the KMC T20 Premier League 2017 started in full fervor on the 26th of March 2017.
Organized by the Sports Committee of KMC, Manipal, the auction liberated the players from the constraints of semesters that are usually the dividing factors in intra-collegiate sport competitions. The captains of the competing teams could bid for any player from any semester, if they placed the skills of the player in good regard. However, a few provisos were set in place to ensure that every semester was equally represented in every team.
A virtual budget of one crore was allotted to each of the five teams, which already had the captains pre-selected. The teams, KMC Royals – captained by Harshit Patel, KMC Titans – captained by Aditya Grama, KMC Thunderbirds – captained by Sarthak Bharadwaj, KMC Heats – captained by Alokik Gupta, and KMC Gladiators – captained by Muralee Naik, had a week of time to mull over the list of 65 players that they would then bid for.
The five members of the staff of KMC, Manipal, who were in the pot for the teams to select from, included Dr Navin Patil, Dr Vinay, Dr Vinod Nayak, Dr Prahlad H and Dr Ajay Bhandarkar. They were selected on the basis of lots drawn by the team captains and were not bid upon.
Following the drawing of the staff players, the auction started in earnest, moderated by Dr Akshay Vinoo. The base price for the bids was predetermined according to the players’ skill in the game. The first round of bidding was highly impassioned, with bids rising quickly as the teams vied to get one up on the others.
The highest bid rose for Mohsin Nazeer, who was also instrumental in bringing the Premier League into being. His bid followed close on the heels of another jaw-dropping number that was quoted for Ram Bhutani.
After a ferocious and nearly adversarial first round of bidding, appetites were whetted, and the teams began to focus up as the base bids were halved for the next round. A considered approach served them well as they filled up the spots on their rosters and finalised their teams, undoubtedly now forming the game plans that would be unveiled in the next month during the matches themselves.
In the final moments of the auction, the thriftiness of the teams was rewarded in the form of two sets of advantages up for bidding. These would come of use in the matches, and were swiped up by KMC Titans and KMC Gladiators.
While tremendously fun to sit through, the auction simply set the stage for the exciting matches between the rival rosters that were established therein. The decisions that the teams made that day will determine the doubtlessly interesting turns of events that will follow in the matches of the KMC T20 Premier League from 9th April till 21st April 2017.