Will franchises consider the veterans?
They have all captured the imagination of fans worldwide with their on-field exploits.
For the quartet of Brian Lara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist and Sourav Ganguly -- the oldest players up for bidding at the IPL auctions which begin in Bangalore on Saturday, it will be an anxious wait as to what is the verdict of the franchises.
It will be interesting to see whether the franchises still consider them to be good enough for the shortest version of the game.
It's of mere coincidence that the four senior most players are all left-handers and have opened for their respective countries in the ODI format with a lot of success. Also three of them apart from Jayasuriya are in the highest base price bracket of $400,000.
At 41 years and 8 months, Brian Lara will be the oldest player at the IPL auctions followed by Sanath Jayasuriya (41 years and six months). Gilchrist, one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen the world has ever seen, is third at 39 years and two months. Former India captain Ganguly is the oldest Indian player up for grabs at 38 years and six months.
Image: Sourav Ganguly
Curiosity most for Lara, Ganguly
Among the four, the curiosity value will be the most for which franchises bid for Lara and Ganguly.
The West Indian legend, who quit active cricket three years back, has been priced at $400,000 but it will be interesting to find out whether his mind and body is ready to take the rigour of T20 cricket. However the franchises might just think about cashing in on 'Brand Lara'.
For somebody like Ganguly who can never be kept out of any discussion, this IPL will certainly be an indication if he is still good enough to survive in competitive cricket.
Three franchises Mumbai Indians, Sahara Pune Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders may be bidding for Ganguly.
However, home is where the heart is for Kolkata's favourite son. It will be interesting how KKR copes up with public pressure if they don't pick Ganguly at the auctions.
Image: Brian Lara
Jayasuriya will do well to get a contract
For Jayasuriya, who is priced at $200,000, getting a franchise will be an achievement in itself. Having got a look-in in Sri Lanka's provisional 30-man squad may just help the dashing Lankan get a contract having plied his trade for Mumbai Indians.
Adam Gilchrist may be the safest bet to be picked up from the auctions. No doubt Deccan Chargers and a few others will bid for Gilchrist who has had more than a decent run in the three IPLs as he catapulted Deccan Chargers from wooden-spooners to a championship title with his leadership skills.
Oldest Players Up for auctions (Countrywise)
Australia: Adam Gilchrist (39 years 2 months)
Bangladesh: Abdur Razzaq (38 years 6 months)
England: Anthony McGrath (35 years 3 months)
India: Sourav Ganguly (38 years 6 months)
New Zealand: Scott Styris (35 years 6 months)
South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs (36 years 11 months)
Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (41 years 6 months)
West Indies: Brian Lara (41 years and 8 months).
Image: Sanath Jayasuriya