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IPL auction 2018: Rajasthan Royals break bank for Ben Stokes; Rahul, Pandey win big bucks

Ben Stokes (Rs 12.5 crore) will join Steve Smith at Rajasthan Royals after the England all-rounder was signed up during IPL auction 2018 in Bangalore

cricket Updated: Jan 27, 2018 22:57 IST
Sanjjeev Samyal
Sanjjeev Samyal
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
IPL auction 2018,IPL 2018,Indian Premier League
KL Rahul of Royal Challengers Bangalore has been bought by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 11 crore on Day 1 of the IPL auction 2018 in Bangalore on January 27, 2018. (BCCI )

The Indian Premier League auction on Saturday saw players become a great deal wealthier thanks to an increase in salary caps. Living up to the hype of being the biggest auction since the opening edition, team owners didn’t hold back, making it an interesting affair. (HIGHLIGHTS OF DAY 1 of IPL AUCTION 2018)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the day’s biggest pick. Despite uncertainty over his availability, Rajasthan Royals shelled out R12.5 crore for him.

Manish Pandey and KL Rahul were the others to breach the Rs 10 crore-mark. The Indian batting stars were bought for R11 cr each, by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab, respectively.

The record for an uncapped player was broken when Mumbai Indians used the Right-To-Match card to get all-rounder Krunal Pandya for R8.8 crore, bettering the R8.5 cr Delhi Daredevils paid for Pawan Negi in 2016.

Off-spinner R Ashwin severed ties with Chennai Super Kings, who dropped out after early bidding for him. He was bought by Kings XI Punjab for R7.6crore.

Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steven Smith and Ben Stokes will team up for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018. (BCCI)

CHRIS LYNN, STARC RICHER

Stokes wasn’t the only foreign star to enjoy a big pay day. KKR paid big bucks for Australians Chris Lynn (R9.6 crore) and Mitchell Starc (R9.4 crore). The bidding war for Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan soared to R9 crore but Sunrisers Hyderabad used the RTM card for their discovery of IPL 2017.

Some big names also went unsold. Chris Gayle had no buyers, and that was the case with IPL’s highest wicket-taker Lasith Malinga too. The teams can call them to bid afresh on Sunday.

WINDFALL FOR UNKNOWN NAMES

As promised, franchises paid equal focus on uncapped and unknown names.

The biggest surprise was Ishan Kishan. The 19-year-old keeper-batsman from Jharkhand would have looked in disbelief when Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore went all out to get him. It ended with MI getting him for R6.2 crore.

Ishan Kishan was captain of the India under-19 World Cup team in 2016, and is in the similar mould as Rishabh Pant. An explosive opener, he helped his cause by smashing a half-century against Punjab in the Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament, on the eve of the auction.

Jofra Archer, the young Sussex all-rounder who has played under-19 World Cup for West Indies, went to Rajasthan Royals for R7.20 crore.

India Under-19 World Cup captain Prithvi Shaw will play for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2018. He was picked up in the IPL auction 2018 for Rs 1.2 crore. (AFP)

Three players from the India U-19 team became crorepatis. Kamlesh Nagarkoti, the Rajasthan fast bowler who is making a splash at the U-19 World Cup clocking over 140kph, was sold for R3.2 crore to KKR, captain Prithvi Shaw for R1.2 crore (Delhi Daredevils) and batsman Shubman Gill for R1.8 cr (KKR).

In all, 19 uncapped players were bought for R1 crore or more.

VETERAN INDIANS

There were not many takers for veteran Indian players, who were in the marquee list. Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were picked up at their base price. Gautam Gambhir had a couple of bids before Delhi Daredevils got him for R2.8 crore. Gambhir is likely to skipper Delhi.

Gambhir, however, had some good news. Released by Kolkata Knight Riders, he was announced captain by Delhi coach Ricky Ponting.

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 19:36 IST