Springer eyeing IPL contract

West Indies U-19 allrounder Shamar Springer is among 21 West Indians who will be up for grabs when the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction takes place in Bengaluru on Monday. In all 351 players will be on the auction block. The tournament starts April 5.

Springer, 19, is yet to make his first-class debut but has so far played nine List A matches and one Twenty20. The lanky Barbadian was one of the stars of the 2016 ICC World Under-19 Tournament in Bangladesh in 2016 where he finished among the top five batsmen with 285 runs at an average of 57.

Shamar Springer celebrating a wicket during the U19 ICC World Cup last year.

The other West Indians seeking to tap into the lucrative IPL are Barbadians Raymon Reifer, Miguel Cummins, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder; Guyana’s Ronsford Beaton; Jamaicans Krishmar Santokie, Jerome Taylor, Sheldon Cotterrell, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels; Windward Islands’ Darren Sammy, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams and Johnson Charles; and Trinidad and Tobago’s Rayad Emrit, Shannon Gabriel, Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis and Darren Bravo.

Bravo currently has a disciplinary matter pending with the West Indies Cricket Board and it is not clear whether this could affect his obtaining a No Objection Certificate if he gets the nod from one of the IPL franchises. He was previously on the books of the now disbanded Deccan Chargers franchise in the first year of the tournament.

A number of players have already been retained by their IPL franchises, including Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons (Mumbai Indians), Carlos Brathwaite (Delhi Daredevils), Chris Gayle and Samuel Badree (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith (Gujarat Lions), Sunil Narine and Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders).

Russell, though, will not suit up for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as he has been banned for a year after being found guilty of a whereabouts drug-testing violation. Russell has been part of the KKR team since 2014 but became a key part of their first-choice XI over the last two years. In 2015, Russell scored 326 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 193 for KKR and was their highest wicket-taker with 14 and had an economy of eight per over. In 2016, Russell made 188 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 165, and was once again their highest wicket-taker with 15 wickets.

More than 750 cricketers from across the globe had originally registered for the player auction before it was whittled down to 351. Each IPL franchise can have up to 27 players in their squad, with a maximum of nine overseas players. The purse for each team has been capped at approximately US$10 million.

Originally proposed for February 4, the auction was delayed as the BCCI grappled with the fallout of the Supreme Court removing its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke on January 2.

This will be the last IPL season before teams overhaul their player rosters for 2018 and beyond. All existing player contracts will expire after IPL 2017 and most players – apart from those the franchises are allowed to retain – will have to go into the auction ahead of the 2018 season.

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