In a historic move, the 17th Indian Premier League (IPL) auction ahead of the 2024 season is set to take place in Dubai. Breaking tradition, the auction will feature its first-ever female auctioneer, Mallika Sagar. Renowned for her role as the gavel master in the Women’s Premier League, Sagar steps in for Hugh Edmeades for this significant event. Her appointment marks a landmark moment in the IPL’s history, showcasing inclusivity and diversity on the cricketing stage.
Sagar, the renowned auctioneer from Pundole’s in Mumbai, returned as the WPL auctioneer for the second consecutive time, showcasing her expertise beyond the art world. Armed with an art history major from Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, she kicked off her career at Christie’s in 2001, carving her name as the first Indian-origin woman auctioneer in their ranks.
While the last WPL auction marked her cricket auctioneering debut, Sagar isn’t new to sports auctions. She made waves in 2021 as the auctioneer for the Pro Kabaddi League, smashing stereotypes as the first woman to helm the league’s auctions. This time, she steps onto a new pitch, taking over from Edmeades as the auctioneer for a men’s tournament. Her stint at the WPL auction garnered praise, setting the stage for her historic role in a men’s cricketing event.
Hugh Edmeades drew accolades for his commitment to craft
Hugh Edmeades, a veteran auctioneer in fine art, classic cars, and charitable causes, boasts a legacy spanning 38 years at Christie’s before venturing into an independent career in 2016. A prominent figure at Christie’s, he took the reins from Richard Madley in 2018, becoming a fixture at the IPL auction since then.
During the mega-auction in Bengaluru last year, a health setback struck Edmeades as he collapsed due to “postural hypotension.” The BCCI officials swiftly turned to Charu Sharma to step in while medical assistance was provided. Remarkably, Edmeades rallied and returned to oversee the auction’s conclusion, earning resounding applause and standing ovations from franchises and BCCI members.