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‘Big Ben’ stands tall at IPL auctions; Indians hit pay dirt

‘Big Ben’ stands tall at IPL auctions; Indians hit pay dirt

Bengaluru, Feb 20:

England all-rounder Ben Stokes became the most expensive overseas buy ever, going to Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping Rs 14.50 crore, even as some unheralded Indian domestic players trumped seasoned names to land lucrative deals at the IPL players’ auction, here today.
The second biggest buy at the auction today was also an England player, left-arm fast bowler Tymal Mills, who was taken by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a mind-boggling Rs 12 crore.
Eight franchises collectively spent Rs 91.15 crore to buy 66 players from a pool of 350 plus that went under the hammer. The accent was clearly on Indian players with as many as 39 of them bagging contracts while 27 overseas players came into the franchises’ roster.
Also making a splash were young Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan Arman, who stunned one and all by getting a Rs 4 crore (USD 600,000) bid from Sunrisers Hyderabad, and spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammed Nabi, also going to SRH. The duo will be the first set of Afghan players to take part in the lucrative league.
The uncapped Indian players had a field day too with little-known Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer T Natarajan going for Rs 3 crore (USD 448,000) to Kings XI Punjab, a 30-fold hike over his base price of Rs 10 lakh.
Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj got a deal of Rs 2.6 crore from his local franchise — the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Rajasthan’s left-arm pacer Aniket Chaudhary, who has been a net bowler with the Indian Test squad for some time, also bagged a cool Rs 2 crore (USD 298,000) deal from RCB.
Karnataka’s young off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham got a Rs 2 crore (USD 298,000) winning bid from Mumbai Indians.
India discards Varun Aaron fetched Rs 2.8 crore (USD 418,000) from Kings XI Punjab while leg-spinner Karn Sharma was bought for Rs 3.2 crore (USD 477,000) from Mumbai Indians.
For left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, it was another hefty pay day as he bagged a Rs one crore deal from RCB starting at a base price of Rs 30 lakh.
It was definitely much less than last year when Negi’s Rs 8.5 crore deal with Delhi Daredevils had surprised one and all. But being an Indian player proved to be his advantage.
For senior Test players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, it turned out to be an embarrassment as both went unsold at their base prices of Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore respectively. Irfan Pathan also went unsold at his Rs 50 lakh base price.
Among the prominent international players, who failed to find takers, was South African spinner Imran Tahir, currently ranked No.1 in the ICC list for ODI and T20 bowlers.
The day certainly turned out to be a good one for the England players with Stokes hogging the limelight but Mills wasn’t far behind either.
Both Stokes and Mills entered the million-dollar bracket with the former fetching USD 2.16 million and the latter going for USD 1.8 million.
Even Chris Woakes, with Rs 4.2 crore (USD 627,000) deal from KKR, had a good day. Hard-hitting Jason Roy, after going unsold in the first round of bidding, was picked up during the second round by Gujarat Lions at a base price of Rs 1 crore. (PTI)

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