IPL | Malan, Smith and Shakib in the fray at the auction

As many as 292 players will go under the hammer on February 18.

Dawid Malan, the top-ranked batsman in international T20 rankings, will go under the hammer for the first time while Steve Smith and Shakib Al Hasan will return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction pool when the eight franchises get involved in the annual affair on February 18.

The IPL management, on Thursday night, announced the list of 292 players who will hope to attract a bit for the maximum of 61 slots available during the auction, which will start at 3 p.m. at a Chennai hotel.

The list includes 164 Indians and 128 overseas players, including three from associate members of the International Cricket Council.

Malan, with a base price of ₹1.5 crore, has been drawn in the second set of players to be auctioned.

While Malan is expected to be a hot pick this year, it will be interesting to see whether Smith (₹2 crore) and Shakib (₹2 crore) will draw interest from the franchises.

While Smith has been released by Rajasthan Royals, allrounder Shakib has returned to competitive cricket after serving a suspension for breaching anti-corruption code.

Among the Indians, Hanuma Vihari (₹1 crore) and Cheteshwar Pujara (₹50 lakh) will hope that their recent exploits in the Test series in Australia will result in a return to the IPL fold.

It remains to be seen whether Kedar Jadhav (₹2 crore) and Piyush Chawla (₹50 lakh) attract bids after being released by the Chennai Super Kings.

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