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