Hugh Edmeades won’t be the gavel master when the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction gets underway in Dubai on December 19.
Sportstar understands that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already informed Edmeades – a seasoned auctioneer – that his services would not be required for this edition. Sources indicated that Mallika Sagar, who is the auctioneer for the Women’s Premier League (WPL), could be considered for the one-day event in Dubai, subject to her availability.
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Edmeades took over from Richard Madley in 2018 and has been hosting the IPL auction ever since. He collapsed on the floor in the ballroom of the ITC Gardenia hotel on the first day of the mega-auction in Bengaluru in February last year due to “postural hypotension”.
While the medical staff attended to him, the BCCI office-bearers requested Charu Sharma to fill in for Edmeades. Edmeades returned to conduct the final phase of the auction amid loud cheers and a standing ovation from the franchises and the BCCI officials.
However, there were apprehensions about whether the Board will continue with him as the auctioneer for the 2023 auction in Kochi. But the Indian cricket board decided to continue with Edmeades at the mini-auction.
An independent fine art, classic car and charity auctioneer, Edmeades was associated with the iconic Christie’s for 38 years before going independent in 2016.
In December 2018, when Edmeades travelled to Jaipur for the IPL auction, it was a new experience for him. Though he had conducted more than 2,500 auctions across the globe by then, it was his first stint with Indian cricket.
Over the last few years, Edmeades has been synonymous with IPL auction and even though he would not be in action this time around, the Englishman could still be considered for the mega auction next year.
Meanwhile, Sagar will be back as the WPL auctioneer in Mumbai on December 9. An auctioneer at the Pundole’s in Mumbai, Sagar – after completing her major in art history from Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia – began her career at Christie’s in 2001, being its first woman auctioneer of Indian origin.
Though the last edition of the WPL auction was her first stint with cricket, Sagar is no stranger to sports auctions. In 2021, she was the auctioneer for the Pro Kabaddi League – becoming the first woman to conduct the auctions in the league.