New Zealand's Brendon McCullum celebrates scoring 200 runs on day two of the first international test cricket match against India at Eden Park in Auckland February 7, 2014.
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum feels that the owners of the Indian Premiere League teams are no longer interested in spending "frivolous cash" on foreign players. They approach toward forming a team has changed, he thinks, as there is more importance given on selecting young Indian players who have recently played well on the domestic level.
McCullum's opinion must have strengthened after the auctions for the players for IPL 7 took place. Only 50 foreign players were purchased at the auctions among a total of 154 players. The most striking trend at this year's auction was the emphasis given on picking up uncapped Indian players. Seventy-four such players were purchased by the team owners.
McCullum, on the other hand, was among the chosen few foreign players at the auctions. There were only six New Zealanders sold at the auctions, including Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson and Tim Southee. Even Taylor was unsold on the first day of the auction. Sixteen Kiwi players remain unsold at the end of the auction. McCullum called the IPL more Indian now. Earlier, more foreign players used to be purchased, while most of them spent maximum amount of time out of the team as there can only be four foreign players allowed in the final 11.
Interestingly, around 70 per cent of the players, including some of the key players in IPL history, found no buyer for them. Brett Lee, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena and Cameron White failed to attract any bidders. Brett Lee was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders when it won the IPL in 2012. Iconic players like former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and West Indies legend Brian Lara too did not find any buyers in the previous years.
The IPL happens to be the most popular Twenty20 tournament at present. IPL 7, which is one of the most viewed sports events on world television, is going to start in April.