IPL Auction : Day 1 round up - Ben Stokes fetches highest bid
England all-rounder Ben Stokes attracted the highest bid on day one of the Indian Premier League auction held in Bengaluru amid his off-field issue.
Stokes was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board for involving in an incident in Bristol in September and is set to face a court hearing next month. However, Rajasthan Royals went all guns blazing for the Durham star, who was judged IPL’s Most Valuable Player last year when he represented the Pune franchise last season.
Stokes attracted an INR 12.5 crore bid and will reunite with the Australian captain Steven Smith in Rajasthan which also see Jos Buttler (4.4 cr), Joe Archer (7.2 cr) and Big Bash League sensation D'Arcy Short (4 cr) in it.
In what was a surprise, England skipper Joe Root failed to get a bid along with his team-mates Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, all-rounder Moeen Ali will head to Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore, who also brought Chris Woakes, Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock. With AB de Villiers already retained, they do look formidable.
Chennai Super Kings surprisingly let their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin go and instead brought Karn Sharma and Harbhajan Singh along with Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir as foreign players.
Kolkata Knight Riders, who had Andre Russell and Sunil Narine retained, also brought back Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Kuldeep Yadav while adding Mitchell Starc to their bowling ranks.
Mumbai Indians relatively had a quiet auction, though they managed to use RTM to get back Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya while bagging international bowlers - Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman. They have already retained Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah before the auction.
Ricky Ponting coached Delhi Daredevils had a blend of power hitters - Colin Munro, Glenn Maxwell and Jason Roy while strengthening the bowling with Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra and the retained Chris Morris while they managed to bag the local lag Gautam Gambhir, who is likely to be the captain of the side.
Kings XI Punjab had a mixed day in the auction as they invested heavily on Indian players Ashwin, Yuvraj Singh, Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair while in-form Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and David Miller will also represent the side in the upcoming edition.
The biggest shock of the day was the leading run-scorer of the IPL Chris Gayle and the leading wicket-taker Lasith Malinga going unsold
The auction will continue on Sunday where the teams can rebid for the unsold players.
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