The much anticipated auctions for the 11th season of the Indian Premier League began today, as teams bid for players they want to play for the upcoming cricket tournament. Earlier this month, all teams announced the names of players they wish to retain in their squad for this season. A total of 578 players were shortlisted by the IPL Governing Council for the auctions which are being held in Bangalore. The IPL season will begin in the first week of April and is scheduled to continue till the end of May.
The biggest buys or this year include veterans from across the globe. England bowler Ben Stokes was bought with the costliest price tag of Rs 12.5 crore and will be playing for the Rajasthan Royals. Manish Pandey was bagged by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 11 crore, as was KL Rahul who moved to Kings XI. Knight Riders bagged Chris Lynn and Mitchell Starc while Aussie batsman Glenn Maxwell went to the Delhi Daredevils.
Ravichandran Ashwin moved to Kings XI while Dwayne Bravo and India newbie Kedar Jadhav went to the Chennai Super Kings. Chris Woakes was roped up by the Royal Challengers.
A number of surprises were in store for the day as several capped players went unsold. Fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazelwood, Tim Southee, Ishant Sharma, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga remain without a team.
Wicketkeepers Parthiv Patel, Jonny Bairstow and Naman Ojha were also strangely left without a team. Top rated players like Joe Root, Chris Gayle, Hashim Amla and Martin Guptill too did not find a home yet.
Meanwhile Afghan leggie Rashid Khan was a big draw and was retained by Sunrisers via the right to match card. Harbhajan Singh has been bought by CSK while other Indian biggies like Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir couldn’t rake high bids.
Day 2 of the auctions will be held on Sunday with fans looking forward to more surprises at the bids.