BENGALURU: The biggest moment of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 auction came rather very early. England all-rounder Ben Stokes was among the first player to go under the hammer, and what a response he got. The all-rounder was taken for a staggering Rs 14.50 crore rupees by the Rising Pune Supergiants. It is the same team that merely yesterday axed former Indian captain, MS Dhoni as its captain.
The 2017 IPL auction will be known for paying ridiculously high amount of money for some players while many top of the line players going unsold despite low base price. The case in Point is Imran Tahir, who, despite very low based price of Rs 50000, remained unsold. It must be very frustrating for Tahir, who has been among the best performers for South African team, especially in the shortest format of the game.
Ben Stokes was not the only player who went for unbelievably high price. The other player who was sold for a staggering high price was another England player, left-arm fast bowler Tymal Mills, who was taken by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a mind-boggling Rs 12 crore.
Another foreign player who made head turn at the auction was a Khan from Afghanistan. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan got a Rs 4 crore ($600,000) bid from Sunrisers Hyderabad, and spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammed Nabi, also going to SRH.
There were some Indian players too who got lucky during the auction. The uncapped Indian players had a field day too with little-known Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer T Natarajan going for Rs 3 crore ($448,000) to Kings XI Punjab, 30-fold hike over his base price of Rs 10 lakh. Rajasthan’s left-arm pacer Aniket Chaudhary, who has been a net bowler with the Indian Test squad for some time, also bagged a cool Rs 2 crore ($298,000) deal from RCB. Karnataka’s young off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham got a Rs 2 crore ($298,000) winning bid from Mumbai Indians.
India discards Varun Aaron fetched Rs 2.8 crore ($418,000) from Kings XI Punjab while leg-spinner Karn Sharma was bought for Rs 3.2 crore ($477,000) from Mumbai Indians. For left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, it was another hefty pay day as he bagged a Rs one crore deal from RCB starting at a base price of Rs 30 lakh. It was definitely much less than last year when Negi’s Rs 8.5 crore deal with Delhi Daredevils had surprised one and all. But being an Indian player proved to be his advantage. For senior Test players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, it turned out to be an embarrassment as both went unsold at their base prices of Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore respectively.
Meanwhile a team that thrived here was England cricket team. The day certainly turned out to be a good one for the England players with Stokes hogging the limelight but speedster Tymal Mills wasn’t far behind. Both Stokes and Mills ended up entered the million-dollar bracket with the former fetching $2.16 million and the latter going for $1.8 million. Even Chris Woakes, with Rs 4.2 crore ($627,000) deal from KKR, had a good day. Pune owner Sanjeev Goenka made it clear that they knew Stokes would go for a big price and they are prepared for the fact that he will not be available to play the full tournament.