Ben Stokes bags £1.4m deal with Rajasthan Royals in IPL auction

• England captain Joe Root goes unsold, along with Chris Gayle
• Jos Buttler also signs for Rajasthan, while Woakes fetches £820,000

Ben Stokes’ pending court case did little to affect his market value at the Indian Premier League auction in Bengaluru as the Rajasthan Royals paid almost £1.4m for the all-rounder. But the England Test captain Joe Root went unsold.

In 2017, Stokes became the competition’s most expensive signing with a £1.7m deal with Rising Pune Supergiant and his performances earned him the award for the most valuable player. It was thought uncertainty over his availability would diminish his appeal. Stokes has a court date at Bristol magistrates on 13 February. He can be replaced should he become unavailable for the whole tournament.

Stokes will be joined at Rajasthan by Jos Buttler, who fetched around £488,000, an improvement on his deal last year with 2017 champions Mumbai Indians.

Entering the IPL auction for the first time, Root was one of three marquee players not to be purchased, along with West Indies’ Chris Gayle and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

However, there is a lifeline for those unsold, with franchises able to request certain players return for bidding on the final day of the auction on Sunday. They may also buy unsold players outright at their base price if they have places to fill, with other sides in a similar situation able to tender bids.

Chris Woakes was the second-richest Englishman after Saturday’s auction, fetching £820,000 with Royal Challengers Bangalore. The allrounder impressed last season at Kolkata Knight Riders, who secured his services for £500,000, but was phlegmatic about being picked up this time around.

“I had similar feelings to last year,” said Woakes. “I wasn’t confident a year ago because it was a bit of a leap into the unknown. This year I put my name in the hat at the highest base price again and if I got picked up again then great. I wasn’t too sure.”

England’s ODI squad, which featured 14 of the 24 English players put up for auction, were in the air travelling from Adelaide to Perth for Sunday’s fifth and final ODI against Australia when the auction began.

As soon as they landed, phones were switched on and talk immediately turned to Stokes’ price tag, Root’s snub and Jason Roy, who had joined Delhi Daredevils for £168,750 (his base price).

By the time Woakes had stepped on to the team bus, he was up for auction and monitoring proceedings. “I saw it come through and the price going up and up. I was over the moon to get picked up.”

He called his wife, Amie, when he got to the team hotel. They are expecting their first child in July and the money will go a long way to securing his family’s future.

“It’s crazy to think as a cricketer you could earn that sort of money for the amount of time you’re going to be playing,” Woakes said. “It’s mind boggling really. This is comfortably life changing, particularly given the amount of time you’re away from home. It’s crazy. But that’s the way the IPL has been for 10 years. It’s great to see English players getting the opportunity to play in it and earn that sort of money.”


Vithushan Ehantharajah in Perth

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
IPL ‘Hammerman’ primed to make Ben Stokes his latest auction millionaire
BBC Bargain Hunt’s Richard Madley is again calling lots at cricket’s richest auction with eight England players hoping to spark bidding wars among IPL franchises

Ali Martin

18, Feb, 2017 @7:35 PM

Article image
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler set to snub IPL for England prospects
England's Twenty20 generation have shown a resolve to atone for Test humiliation in Australia by snubbing the chance to join the IPL

Richard Gibson

18, Jan, 2014 @10:14 AM

Article image
Tymal Mills: what makes a player with no Tests or ODIs worth £1.4m in IPL? | Vic Marks
A life-changing back injury, an in-demand angle of delivery and an impressive contacts book have paved the way to astonishing riches for the Englishman Tymal Mills

Vic Marks

25, Feb, 2017 @12:30 PM

Article image
Ben Stokes shows ‘brilliant character’ to help England into T20 semis
Eoin Morgan’s England team defeated Sri Lanka by 10 runs in a World Twenty20 thriller, while England women will also reach the last four if they beat Pakistan

Vic Marks in Delhi

26, Mar, 2016 @8:54 PM

Article image
Jofra Archer to focus on fitness for Sussex and Tests and ignore IPL
Jofra Archer has been told to train his sights on the Test series against West Indies in June and a spell of county cricket beforehand rather than return from injury in the IPL

Ali Martin

07, Mar, 2020 @12:30 PM

Article image
Woakes, Malan and Bairstow withdraw from IPL to prioritise England duty
Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow have all withdrawn from the upcoming Indian Premier League, choosing to put England first before a busy winter that features the T20 World Cup and the Ashes

Ali Martin

11, Sep, 2021 @11:00 AM

Article image
Ben Stokes magic conjures higher hopes of England success | Vic Marks
The win over South Africa could not have gone much better for England – and that catch galvanised an unexpected amount of interest in the Cricket World Cup

Vic Marks

01, Jun, 2019 @10:00 AM

Article image
Ben Stokes, hero of Headingley, is England’s buccaneering totem
Ben Stokes, the all-action miracle man will never be perfect, but he belongs to that rare group of sporting giants with superhuman will

Rob Smyth

01, Sep, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
Ben Stokes universally praised after Champions Trophy ton for England
Ben Stokes’s third one-day century boosted England’s confidence before their Champions Trophy semi-final and continued a rich run of form that the all-rounder has carried from the IPL

Ali Martin at Edgbaston

10, Jun, 2017 @8:31 PM

Article image
England’s Ben Stokes takes guard in hostile West Indies territory | Vic Marks
Ben Stokes was smashed to all parts by Carlos Brathwaite in the World Twenty20 final and the Caribbean fans are unlikely to let him forget it in a hurry

Vic Marks

26, Feb, 2017 @10:30 AM