€2 million Ben Stokes becomes IPL’s record overseas signing
Joins Rising Pune Supergiants, Eoin Morgan signs for Kings XI Punjab for €280,000
England’s Test vice-captain Ben Stokes has become the IPL’s record overseas signing. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
Ben Stokes will earn £1.7million (€2m) at this year’s Indian Premier League after Rising Pune Supergiants made him the tournament’s record overseas signing.
The 25-year-old England all-rounder was expected to be the hottest property at the glitzy auction in Bangalore, and so it turned out as his price soared.
Stokes’ value was confirmed in the first round of the auction, at around 4:30am UK time shortly before England’s Twenty20 specialist fast bowler Tymal Mills was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for £1.4million (€1.64m).
Exactly a week after discovering he will be England’s new Test vice-captain, a substantially more lucrative deal was therefore waiting for Stokes on the breakfast table in Durham on Monday morning.
He will be joined at the IPL in April and May by his England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for £240,000 (€280,000), and their international team-mate Chris Woakes — who fetched around £500,000 (€586,000) and will play for Kolkata Knight Riders.
The duration of their stay has yet to be confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, but it is thought likely Stokes will not be among those required back to face Ireland in two one-day internationals in early May — while Morgan almost certainly will.
Stokes, due to fly with Morgan et al to the Caribbean on Wednesday for three ODIs against West Indies, has been valued at only slightly less than the all-time record IPL fee of £1.9million (€2.2m)paid by Delhi Daredevils for India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh two years ago.
He is among 10 England players hoping their IPL stint would be confirmed on Monday, after ECB director Andrew Strauss made clear several times over the past year that exposure to the high-profile franchise Twenty20 tournament is preferable if possible between international fixtures.
Stokes, Woakes and Mills will be taking part for the first time, while Morgan has been a regular for several seasons.
Sussex left-armer Mills, who does not play any longer forms of the game because of his back problems and is therefore available for the entire tournament, will team up with India captain Virat Kohli in Bangalore.
As the afternoon session of the auction got under way, Mills’ England and Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan secured his base price of £60,000 (€70,000) to join Sunrisers Hyderabad and big-hitting opener Jason Roy also reached his minimum value of £120,000 (€140,000) and will play for Gujarat Lions.
Among purchases from elsewhere around the world at the 2017 auction, pace bowlers appeared to be in highest demand — with New Zealand’s Trent Boult (Kolkata), South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada (Delhi) and Australia’s Pat Cummins (Delhi) all being sold for upwards of £500,000 (€586,000).