"This time, everyone has the money for Ben Stokes"

The IPL auction is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

Ben Stokes has played for Rising Pune Supergiants in the last season of IPL | Twitter

The intense bidding war on some of world’s cricket renowned names will certainly grab the headlines in the upcoming IPL 2018 auction, scheduled to be held in Bangalore on January 27 and 28. The much-awaited auction will see a whopping 1122 players go under the hammer.

Besides, there is a plenty of buzz surrounding around the next edition of IPL since it will mark the beginning of the new decade in the lucrative tournament. Moreover, for the very first time cricket fanatics will experience watching it on Star Sports network.

Ahead of the all-important auction, KXIP director Virender Sehwag has opened up about the various aspects of the cash-rich league. Viru believes that there are 2-3 players who can fetch more than India skipper Virat Kohli, who got retained for a whopping sum of Rs 17 crores by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise.

“Yes absolutely, there are 2-3 players who can fetch more. In an auction, when a team wants a specific player and there are a couple of other teams too, a bid that starts for ₹2 crores can end up going till even ₹20 crores.

"We saw last time, Mumbai Indians didn’t have the money to buy Ben Stokes so he went for ₹14 crores. This time, everyone has the money for Ben Stokes. So maybe, he can cross Virat Kohli’s number,” Sehwag said in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.

The Punjab based IPL franchise co-owned by renowned Bollywood actress Preity Zinta have only retained the services of leg-spinner Axar Patel in the IPL retention held two weeks back in Bangalore. However, Sehwag now made it clear that they will target big in the auction provided their budget.

“Yes, we are targeting big this year because our budget is bigger this year. We have around ₹58 crores to make a team. During previous IPL editions, we only had 38-40 crores to make a team, now we have Rs. 20 crores more,” Viru revealed.

Talking about his former India opening partner Gautam Gambhir, who was not retained by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Sehwag said: “I was not shocked, because every team has their own thinking. I was not shocked when Delhi Daredevils did not decide to retain me after having played there for the past 6 years. I too was part of the auction then.”

Just like Gambhir, swashbuckling West Indian Chris Gayle wasn’t retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise. And Sehwag is not at all surprised with this decision as the Universe Boss is getting old now.

“No. Gayle is now getting old. He is not the same Gayle that he once was. Last year, he played in the IPL and his performance wasn’t at that level that he was once renowned for. Teams take into account this factor when they enter the auction. Maybe RCB might go after Gayle again at the auction,” concluded Sehwag.


By Salman Anjum - 15 Jan, 2018

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