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IPL auction: Cricket stars go under hammer in Indian Premier League bidding war

Starc forsakes $1 million IPL paydayAshwin plays down net hijinks with Aussies
Nanjing Night Net

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was sold for a stunning $2.8million as reborn Australian paceman Pat Cummins and former international spearhead Mitchell Johnson  also profited handsomely in the Indian Premier League auction. But it was little-known England paceman Tymal Mills, who played briefly for the Brisbane Heat this summer, who provided the shock of the day when he was sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $2.3m.

Stokes, recently appointed England vice-captain, has yet to play in the sport’s glamour Twenty20 league but his heavy hitting and penetrating medium pace made him a coveted signing, and he was snapped up for the highest price of the day by the Rising Pune Supergiants.

It’s likely Stokes will be paid only a part of his contract because of international commitments. The IPL begins on April 5, and England has a one-day international against Ireland in late April and then one-day series against the West Indies and South Africa before staging the Champions Trophy in June.

He could also decide to bypass the IPL entirely in favour of rest, for England have seven home Tests after the Champions Trophy.

Pune owner Sanjiv Goenka told reporters Stokes would bring something new to the team for the 10th edition of the tournament.

“He’s a complete player and he completes our squad. We’ve been lacking this one genre of player,” he said.

“We knew he was going to be there for the first 14 games … We pretty much knew we were not going to get him for below this price.”

Cummins was sold to Delhi for $875,000. Having rekindled his international career this summer in the sport’s limited overs forms after major back problems, he and Cricket Australia must now decide whether it’s still in his best interests to play in the IPL considering he has been earmarked for a Test recall in time for next summer’s Ashes. One option could be to have a limited part in the tournament.

Johnson emerged from retirement this summer to help guide the Perth Scorchers to the Big Bash League title. He remains a major threat when required to bowl only four overs, and was sold to Mumbai for $390,000. He will be available for the entire tournament.

But there was no joy for the BBL’s leading wicket-taker Sean Abbott, or the BBL’s leading run scorer, Ben Dunk, who were overlooked. Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and Melbourne Renegades cult figure, spinner Brad Hogg, were also unsold. Australia already had 17 players contracted to franchises.

Pune, which joined the IPL last year, has made Steve Smith skipper this season and also features fellow Australians Usman Khawaja, Adam Zampa and Mitchell Marsh.

Next year looms as the mega IPL auction, for the contracts of all players will expire, and most will go back into the auction aside from those franchises are allowed to retain.

Australian spearhead Mitchell Starc has pulled out of this year’s tournament, citing a need to remain fresh for the busy year ahead.

Starc was on a deal worth about $973,000 with the Royal Challengers Bangalore when signed in 2014. Fellow new-ball quick Josh Hazlewood has also opted to bypass the IPL, after what has been a hectic year for Australia, including six Tests this summer. Another busy schedule awaits, beginning with the Champions Trophy and culminating in the  Ashes series.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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