Madley took charge of the IPL auctions every season from the inception of the league till 2018. From the 2019 season, he was replaced by Hugh Edmeadas. In an interaction with ANI, Madley opened up on his thoughts about the IPL, bidding wars for players, and what he made of MS Dhoni being picked up by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) way back in 2008.
“When I was first approached to advise on the formatting of the inaugural Player Auction in February 2008, I was providing technical advice on auction law – including the rules and regulations. I had always wanted to visit India but never had the opportunity to do so. Being invited to conduct that first auction gave me the opportunity to see firsthand the passion shown for cricket,” Madley told ANI.
“No one had any idea that in the ballroom of The Oberoi Hilton, Mumbai on February 20th, 2008 that the world of cricket would change forever. The atmosphere was electric in the auction room that day as player after player came under my hammer. Technology was limited just 14 years ago and there was no Twitter or Instagram. No one thought of recording me selling MS Dhoni for USD 1.5 million. Mobile phones were banned at the auction but mine didn’t even have a camera,” he added.
Just found my one and only auction sheet for the historic first ever #VIVOIPL auction in 2008.@msdhoni sold to… https://t.co/LKJy8HOFOV
— Richard Madley (@iplauctioneer) 1557646964000
Further revealing his memories about the very first IPL auction, Madley said, “The auction actually started steadily -with Shoaib Akhtar selling to Kolkata and Shane Warne to Jaipur for his base price of USD 450,000. And then out of the bag came a small cricket ball -with the name MS Dhoni- with a base price of USD 400,000 -sparking a bidding war until my hammer dropped at USD 1.5 million to Chennai. The IPL Auction had taken off.”
“The IPL has caught the imagination of the cricket world from Lords to Sydney -and of course throughout India. It’s action-packed, skilful, exciting, tactical, fast-paced, and fun. It challenges football for skill and entertainment. It has been running for 14 years and has grown massively. It would now need to expand globally if it is to maintain those growth patterns. The USA next,” he added.
When asked about the one bidding war that stood out the most in the IPL auction, Madley spoke about how Kieron Pollard captured the imagination of four franchises way back in 2010.
“In every auction, there has been one player who has attracted the attention of the whole room. The most extraordinary bidding scenario we ever had was in 2010 when we had a four-way battle between Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders for Kieron Pollard. Each franchise was then invited to make a secret sealed bid for the player over and above the USD 750k mark. History will tell you that Mumbai Indians were the successful bidders which must go down as one of the strategically successful bids of all time – underlying Mumbai’s determination to secure their talisman,” said Madley.
The mega auction for the IPL 2022 season will be held on February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru. A total of 590 cricketers will go under the hammer. Amongst 590 players who have registered for the auction, 228 are capped players, 355 are uncapped players and 7 belong to Associate Nations.