Richard Madley, best known for being the “hammerman” at the Indian Premier League auctions so far, said he was shocked and let down by BCCI’s decision to let him go and get a new auctioneer in place for this month’s auction. He was also surprised to see that he was replaced by another British auctioneer who happens to be older than him.

The BCCI on Wednesday (December 5) announced that Madley would be replaced by Hugh Edmeades, an independent fine art, classic car and charity auctioneer. Madley has conducted all the IPL auctions so far since the league began in 2008.

The 60-year-old had tweeted that he will miss his many friends and followers in India after the announcement, stating that he was not invited to conduct the IPL auction by BCCI.

“It was not my decision… In cricket terms I have been dropped.”

Madley said he was told that it was a part of a larger change in the auction process, but does not buy it.

“I have been told that the BCCI wants to ‘change up’ the auction with a new venue, new timings and I assumed then that they were going to bring in a newer, younger auctioneer. Perhaps an Indian auctioneer, which would be perfectly logical. Therefore I was surprised when my replacement is a British auctioneer, older than me, more grey hairs, heavier,” Madley told CricketNext.

“He’s a good friend of mine, I’ve known Hugh for many years. But he’s a first class art auctioneer who has no experience of IPL. Therefore, it is illogical to me to replace me with somebody who is almost my mirror image. That, to me, is the one area that hurts,” he added.

He said that he was given no explanation or reason or even an acknowledgement of the 11 years.

“It would appear that they are making change for change’s sake. You don’t fiddle with something that isn’t broken. The IPL auction is an extraordinary process, it’s more than just selling players. It’s a great launchpad for the tournament which usually starts six weeks later. Alter it at your risk. It’s inconceivable to me why they would want to do it. Why remove a key player in your team who has given 11 years service and still has some life left?

“The IPL auction process is highly transparent. I am asking for that same transparency,” he was quoted as saying.

The player auction ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League will be held in Jaipur on December 18. The auction will not be a two-day affair this time around and over 1,000 players, including 232 foreigners, have registered for the 70 spots up for grabs.

You can read the full interview here