IPL auctions: Ben Stokes goes to Rajasthan Royals for 12.5 crore

On the first day of the IPL auctions, the England all-rounder was picked by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes again fetched big money.   -  Getty Images

Last year when Rising Pune Supergiant roped in England all-rounder Ben Stokes for a whopping Rs 14.5 crore, it had taken the cricketing fraternity by surprise. But he did return the favour, becoming the star performer for the side.

But his fortunes changed after he was involved in a bar brawl in September last year. While he was dropped from the England squad for the Ashes, Stokes now faces an array for being involved in the brawl.

So, last week when he was named as one of the marquee players for the Indian Premier League (IPL), it did create speculations on whether he would even be available for the tournament. Some of the franchises Sportstar spoke to, also indicated that they would wait and watch before taking a call on Stokes.

But on Saturday, the England all-rounder was picked by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore. There was intense bidding as major franchises like KKR, CSK and Kings XI went bidding for him.

Ranjit Barthakur, Rajasthan Royals Chairman and CEO, justified the decision. “As far as we are concerned, the ECB has cleared him for auction; he's legally available, therefore we've bid for him. He's a very important part. We're like a start up company; we're restarting and pressing the reset button. We're trying to build the team and an all-rounder is absolutely important. Unlike other teams, we do not have very many players for retention,” Barthakur said.

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