Auc­tion Ac­tion

The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games - Gau­rav Laghate

Eng­land all-rounder has be­come the most ex­pen­sive over­seas player ever bought at an IPL auc­tion. He is also the sec­ond-high­est paid player among those cur­rently ac­tive in the IPL, be­hind Vi­rat Kohli (`15 crore, RCB)

Eight In­dian Premier League (IPL) franchises have spent a to­tal of ₹ 91.15 crore on Mon­day to pick up 66 play­ers ahead of the 10th edi­tion of the cashrich league. While English all-rounder Ben Stokes and his team­mate Ty­mal Mills were the top picks of the play­ers’ auc­tion, it was, once again, un­pre­dictable and sur­pris­ing in many ways. A lot of po­ten­tial big play­ers in­clud­ing Ishant Sharma, Im­ran Tahir and Ir­fan Pathan, found no buy­ers.

Ra­makr­ish­nan R, direc­tor at sports mar­ket­ing firm Base­line Ven­tures said that this time team own­ers played safe and rarely go over­board. “Kings XI Pun­jab and Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad al­ways go in the auc­tions with set strat­egy, but this time even Mum­bai In­di­ans played very smartly.”

On an in­creased trac­tion for bowlers and all-rounders, Ra­makr­ish­nan pointed out that SRH won the league last year be­cause of their bowl­ing at­tack. “You need a bal­anced team with a strong bowl­ing at­tack. All fran­chisees are see­ing to it,” he added. So while Stokes was snatched away by Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants (RPS) for a whop­ping ₹ 14.50 Eng­land fast bowler, the sec­ond-most ex­pen­sive sale at the auc­tion, also set a new record price for a spe­cial­ist bowler crore (his base price was ₹ 2 crore), mak­ing him the costli­est in­ter­na­tional player in the his­tory of IPL, Mills was bought by Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore (RCB) for ₹ 12 crore (base price ₹ 50 lakh).

Among teams, Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants (RPS) spent max­i­mum, ₹ 17.2 crore from their avail­able purse to buy 9 play­ers. The team now has 26 play­ers, in­clud­ing 8 over­seas play­ers. Sanjiv Goenka, owner of RPS said that Stokes was al­ways the first choice for the team.

“We had set aside ₹ 15 crore for him. What we wanted was a po­ten­tial match win­ner. We al­ready have a fairly bal­anced team,” he told ET. When asked if Stokes’s un­avail­abil­ity for the en­tire length of the league could be a con­cern, Goenka main­tained, “Stokes will play 14 play­offs. If we win those matches we will reach the next level.”

Over­all, Goenka said he is happy with the auc­tions and his buys of Stokes, Daniel Chris­tian, Lockie Fer­gu­son and the In­dian play­ers. RCB was the sec­ond high­est spenders in the auc­tion, who apart from Mills, also picked up two bowlers and two all-rounders. In­ter­est­ingly, RCB picked up Pawan Negi for just ₹ 1 crore. Last year, he was sold for ₹ 8.5 crore. Kolkata Knight Rid­ers (KKR) and Delhi Dare­dev­ils (DD) were the next top spenders with SANJIV GOENKA RPS owner, on bid­ing for Stokes ₹ ₹

to­tal spends of ₹ 14.35 crore and ₹ 14.05 crore, re­spec­tively. Both KKR and DD picked up 9 play­ers each. KKR picked up 4 all rounder, 3 bowlers and 2 bats­men, while DD bought 4 bowlers, 3 all-rounders, one wicket-keeper and one bats­man.

He­mant Dua, CEO, Delhi Dare­dev­ils said his team is very sat­is­fied with the auc­tions. “Over­all it went very well. We also saved ₹ 9 crore, other­wise DD is known to ex­haust its purse. We went with a plan and placed our bids very in­tel­li­gently.”

In­ter­est­ingly, DD had locked horns with Mum­bai In­di­ans for Stokes, but left when the price reached ₹ 11 crore. “We did go af­ter him, but ₹ 11 crore was mak­ing no point to us. We needed bowlers, and we got Rabada and Cum­mins,” Dua added. Kings XI Pun­jab and SRH spent ₹ 9.45 crore and ₹ 8.65 crore, re­spec­tively to buy eight play­ers each, while Mum­bai In­di­ans bought seven for ₹ 8.2 crore. But it was Gu­jarat Li­ons, who spent the least amount, ₹ 3.85 crore, in the auc­tions and bought 11 play­ers, in­clud­ing English hard-hit­ting bats­man Ja­son Roy, who re­mained un­sold in the first round. “We did our home­work right,” said Ke­shav Bansal, owner of Gu­jarat Li­ons. “Our team was quite bal­anced last year, but we needed an in­ter­na­tional bats­man and some good qual­ity bowlers. Other play­ers if you see are ex­pe­ri­enced ones, who will be match win­ners with some proper guid­ance and push.”

IPL 2017 will kick off from April 5.

Mo­ham­mad Nabi & Rashid Khan are the first from Afghanistan to be picked in IPL. Both were bought by Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad, for 30 L & 4 cr re­spec­tively

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