There are only 70 spots up for grabs at the Indian Premier League’s player auction for the 2019 season, but that hasn’t stopped over 1,000 cricketers from registering for it.

Player registration for the auction, which will be held on December 18, closed on Tuesday. As many as 1,003 players, including 232 overseas cricketers, signed up to be a part of the auction, the IPL governing council announced on Wednesday.

Out of the 1,003 cricketers, 200 are capped players, and three are from the International Cricket Council’s Associate Nations. Of the 800 uncapped players, 746 are Indians.

Among the foreign players, 35 Australians have registered themselves, while 27 players are from Afghanistan. The highest number of players registered from a country – 59 – are from South Afric,a while USA, Hong Kong and Ireland have one player each in the initial list.

For the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League, cricketers from Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Puducherry have registered for the auction.

Franchises will now have time until 5 pm IST on Monday, December 10, to submit their shortlist of players that will make up the final auction list.

The IPL auction will also have a new gavel master this time in Hugh Edmeades, an independent fine art, classic car and charity auctioneer.

With inputs from PTI