Stokes attracts big IPL offer as Root goes unsold
Stokes last year made history as the competition’s most expensive overseas player.
England Test captain Joe Root went unsold at the IPL Player Auction but Ben Stokes’ pending court case did little to affect his market value as the Rajasthan Royals forked out almost £1.4million for the all-rounder.
Stokes last year made history as the most expensive overseas player in the competition’s history when he signed a £1.7million deal with Rising Pune Supergiant before going on to claim the competition’s most valuable player award.
Again listed as one of the 16 marquee players this time around despite being due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 13 having been charged with affray, the IPL had guaranteed he can be replaced but only if he is ruled out for the whole tournament.
However, Root – whose decision to sit out England’s Twenty20 Tri-Series against Australia and New Zealand and enter the auction had caused some consternation – was one of three big names to go unsold during the early rounds of bidding, alongside West Indies opener Chris Gayle and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.
Rajasthan chief executive Ranjit Barthakur said on the Royals’ official Facebook page: “Ben Stokes is just our kind of guy.
“(He is) a fantastic performer, a cricketer of today and a cricketer of the future.”
There were 24 English players listed in the auction, and all-rounder Chris Woakes saw his value increase from last year’s competition as the Royal Challengers Bangalore forked out over £800,000 for his services.
England opener Jason Roy joined the Delhi Daredevils for his £166,630 base price, while Moeen Ali will join Woakes in Bangalore after selling for almost £190,000.
Moeen, who struggled for form during England’s Ashes defeat, had said prior to the auction: “I’ve put my name in but at the moment I’m thinking I’m not going to get in.”
Jos Buttler joined England team-mate Stokes at the Royals for around £488,000, but fellow wicketkeepers Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings went unsold.