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Mallika Sagar makes IPL history: All about the first woman auctioneer set to lead 2024 auction in Dubai

Stepping into the shoes of Hugh Edmeades, renowned for his long-standing career in fine art and classic cars, Mallika Sagar's appointment marks a historic moment for the IPL, emphasizing inclusivity and diversity on the cricketing stage.

ipl 2024 auction who is mallika sagar the first woman auctioneer set to make history in Dubai marquee event replaces Hugh Edmeades snt
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First Published Dec 18, 2023, 11:12 AM IST

In a groundbreaking move, the upcoming 17th Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 2024 season is set to be held in Dubai on December 19 and will feature its first-ever female auctioneer, Mallika Sagar. Stepping into the shoes of Hugh Edmeades, renowned for his long-standing career in fine art and classic cars, Sagar's appointment marks a historic moment for the IPL, emphasizing inclusivity and diversity on the cricketing stage.

Also read: IPL 2024 auction: Purse available, key positions to be filled, potential targets and more of all 10 teams

Mallika Sagar, hailing from Pundole’s in Mumbai, gained recognition as the auctioneer for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) and now adds another feather to her cap as the auctioneer for the IPL, traditionally a men's cricketing event. Armed with an art history major from Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Sagar began her career at Christie’s in 2001, becoming the first Indian-origin woman auctioneer in their esteemed ranks.

While the last WPL auction marked her debut in cricket auctions, Sagar made a notable impact in the sports auction arena in 2021 as the auctioneer for the Pro Kabaddi League, breaking stereotypes and becoming the first woman to helm the league's auctions. Now, she steps onto a new pitch, taking over from Edmeades for the IPL auction, showcasing her versatility and expertise beyond the art world.

Hugh Edmeades, a veteran auctioneer with a legacy spanning 38 years at Christie’s, has been a prominent figure at the IPL auction since 2018. Known for his commitment to the craft, Edmeades faced a health setback during the mega-auction in Bengaluru last year when he collapsed due to "postural hypotension." Despite the unexpected incident, Edmeades rallied and returned to oversee the auction's conclusion, earning admiration from franchises and BCCI members.

Mallika Sagar's role as the first female auctioneer in the IPL marks a significant stride towards gender inclusivity in cricket. Her journey from art auctions to cricketing events showcases the evolving landscape of sports and underlines the importance of embracing diversity in traditionally male-dominated arenas. The IPL auction in Dubai is poised to be a historic moment, not only for the players but also for the evolving narrative of inclusivity in the world of sports auctions.

The auction pool for the upcoming IPL season in 2024 consists of a total of 333 players vying for a coveted spot, with 77 slots available across all franchises. Many international cricket stars have declared their availability, anticipating the T20 World Cup jointly hosted by the West Indies and the United States of America shortly after the conclusion of the 2024 IPL season.

Also read: IPL 2024 Auction insider's guide: Top bid targets, uncapped players to watch out, auctioneer details and more

Among the prominent foreign players in the mix, Australian captain Pat Cummins stands out, having previously showcased his skills with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Another noteworthy comeback is from fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. In the batting department, Travis Head is generating significant interest, particularly after his stellar performance in the World Cup 2023 finals against India in Ahmedabad. Head's century played a crucial role in securing the Aussies a World Cup title, marking their first victory since 2015.

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