IPL Auction : Day 1 round up - Ben Stokes fetches highest bid

Florence Fletcher
January 28, 2018

Ben Stokes was sold for Rs. 12.5 crore to Rajasthan Royals, leading the list of millionaires at the 2018 IPL Auction that began in Bengaluru on Saturday and will conclude the following day. Stokes was the most valuable player at last year's IPL auction as well, when he was bought by Rising Pune Supergiant.

He was again listed as one of the 16 marquee players this time around despite the England star being due to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on February 13 having been charged with affray.

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Some of the high profile cricketers, most notably West Indies dashing batsmen, Chris Gayle surprisingly went unsold in the first round. While Yuvraj Singh went to his home team Kings XI Punjab for his base price of Rs 2 crore as his Sunrisers Hyderabad did not use the RTM card.

Ben Stokes' pending court case did little to affect his market value as the Rajasthan Royals paid nearly £1.4m for the all-rounder. And the Kolkata Knight Riders spent heavily to bought Australian duo of Chris Lynn and Mitchell Starc in Rs 9.60 crores and Rs 9.40 crores respectively.

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The power hitter, who sparked a bidding war, has played 57 matches scoring 1,228 runs at a blistering strike rate of 164.39. His Karnataka teammate Manish Pandey got a matching Rs 11 crore, this time Sunrisers Hyderabad out-bidding KXIP. Shivil Kaushik, who played for Gujarat Lions last two seasons, also went unsold along with former KKR and Mumbai Indians player Iqbal Abdulla.

Chennai Super Kings secured deals for Kedar Jadhav and Dwayne Bravo as their two most expensive purchases, while Delhi Daredevils acquired Australia's Glenn Maxwell for around £1m. Dinesh Karthik was purchased by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 7.40 crore. CSK joined in and were involved in a tussle with the Preity Zinta co-owned franchise until the price slab reached Rs 4 crore.

"It is likely now that Gambhir will lead the team next season", Ponting said. "So, we have gone for an experienced captain and I am sure he will do the job for us". Guess what, he made his way to the Kings XI Punjab, it was an eerie moment for all the fans back in Chennai, with Chennai Super Kings bagged Harbhajan Singh in a cross-state transfer. Opener Jos Buttler was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 4.40 crore, while Bangladesh cricketer Mustafizur Rahman and Pat Cummins were sold by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.20 crore and 5.40 crore.

The No. 1 ranked Twenty20 bowler in the world, New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi, went unsold.

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