Stokes bags bumper deal

Stokes bags bumper deal

Stokes bags bumper deal

Bengaluru: England hotshot all-rounder Ben Stokes ruled the roost for the second year in succession while star Karnataka players commanded hefty price tags on the opening day of the IPL players auction here on Saturday.

After emerging as the costliest foreign player ever at a whopping Rs 14.5 crore last February, Stokes, despite facing charges of affray back home, showed why he's considered as the most valuable cricketer in the world when Rajasthan Royals bought him for Rs 12.5 crore. On an extended day of auctioneering, Stokes ended up being the costliest player sold.

It was a day to savour for three of Karnataka's international players. Opening batsman K L Rahul, strangely out of favour in limited overs cricket since the tour of Sri Lanka last year, was bought for a huge Rs 11 crore by Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad matched that sum to acquire the services of dashing middle-order batsman Manish Pandey. Incidentally, Rahul and Pandey were the richest Indian buys on the day.

Karnataka vice-captain Karun Nair, who has hammered two centuries in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, didn't set the tongues wagging like his other two mates but still was richer by Rs 5.6 crore after being picked up Kings XI Punjab.

It was a thoroughly disappointing day for perhaps the most successful and destructive T20 batsman - Chris Gayle. Owner of a record 20 centuries in the shortest format but battling indifferent from off late, the towering West Indian stunningly saw no takers at all for him. Even Royal Challengers Bangalore, for whom he has played many match-winning knocks, didn't raise a paddle for him.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, who bought 11 players, pushed themselves only for England all-rounder Chris Woakes, engaging in a tussle with the returning Chennai Super Kings before buying him at ₹ 7.4 crore. They used the Right To Match card for ace leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal at Rs 6 crore and also bid successfully for dangerous South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock at a bargain price of Rs 2.80 crore.

In all 78 players were sold on day one with 49 of them being Indians and 29 overseas. A total of Rs 321.10 crore was spent with Sunrisers Hyderabad making the most number of buys - 14.

DH News Service