IPL auction: Aussies under the hammer

15 February 2017

Scorchers duo Mitchell Johnson and Michael Klinger are among 30 Australians in the IPL auction // Getty

No fewer than 30 Australians throw their hat in the ring ahead of 2017 edition of the sport's most lucrative domestic competition

Speedsters Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins headline a list of 30 Australians hopeful of getting signed when the lucrative auction for this year's Indian Premier League takes place in Bangalore on February 20.

Both Johnson and Cummins are set at the top base price of approximately AUD$390,000, while retired international Brad Haddin – currently plying his trade in the Pakistan Super League – and Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon are on the next tier of pricing at approximately AUD$290,000.

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Johnson, who retired from international cricket in the 2015-16 summer, had a difficult time of things in the 2016 IPL with Kings XI Punjab, at one point losing his place in the side.

But the left-arm quick returned to Twenty20 action with a bang via the Perth Scorchers in the KFC Big Bash, with a couple of scintillating performances in the finals helping his side to a third title in the competition's six-year history.

Johnson's triple-strike stuns Stars

Cummins, 23, missed last year's tournament through injury but played four games across the previous two seasons for Kolkata Knight Riders.

England trio Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and Chris Woakes have also been listed at the top base price for next Monday's auction, as has regular Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and India quick Ishant Sharma.

Australia's upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka – beginning Friday in Melbourne – is a timely one for a host of candidates looking to push their claims for an IPL contract, with Cummins, Michael Klinger, Ben Dunk, Ashton Turner and Billy Stanlake all hoping to appear in stand-in coach Justin Langer's side.

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Veteran Klinger looks likely to make his international debut in the series opener and the 36-year-old's run-scoring feats in both Australia and England are well-documented, while he played four times for the now defunct Kochi franchise in the 2011 IPL season.

Three matches against Sri Lanka loom as an ideal opportunity for the opening batsman to further enhance his appeal to potential buyers, after he posted a match-sealing unbeaten 71 in the BBL final. 

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"I'm going to be playing cricket, Twenty20 in particular, for at least a couple more years," Klinger offered last week, before it was revealed his name would be appearing in the IPL auction at the base price of approximately AUD$58,000.

Adelaide Strikers opener Dunk, the Big Bash leading run-scorer for the second time in four seasons, is listed at the same base price.

Consistent Dunk hammers half-century

In all, 351 players will go under the hammer in the 2017 auction, including 122 internationals, with five representatives from Afghanistan and one from the United Arab Emirates all hoping to be snapped up.  

The eight franchises can have a maximum of 27 players on their books, including nine overseas players.

All squads have already acquired a majority of their squad, meaning no more than 76 players (28 from overseas) can be signed during the auction.

The tournament begins on April 5, with the final on May 21.

Australian players available at IPL auction: Sean Abbott, Fawad Ahmed, Michael Beer, Johan Botha, Nick Buchanan, Joe Burns, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Ben Dunk, Ben Dwarshuis, Callum Ferguson, Chris Green, Brad Haddin, Sam Heazlett, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Ben Laughlin, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Ben McDermott, Alex Ross, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Ashton Turner, Jack Wildermuth.

Australians already contracted for the 2017 IPL (17)

Rising Pune Supergiants: Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa

Gujarat Lions: James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, AJ Tye

Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn

Royal Challengers Bangalore:  Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Ben Cutting, Moises Henriques, David Warner