Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) has decided to sell off South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock in the first trade before auctions of 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League. Infact, according to a report from ESPNcricinfo, De Kock has been already sold to Mumbai Indians in a huge pay deal.
RCB, which purchased De Kock at INR 2.8 crore during the 2018 auction, it is learnt, has sold him at that exact prize to Mumbai, who in return have themselves released Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman (INR 2.2 crore) and Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dananjaya (INR 50 lakh) to off-set the deal.
Interestingly Mumbai already has two wicketkeepers in Ishan Kishan and Aditya Tare, so it is expected De Kock is being drafted in for his top order batting prowess, which he exhibited for RCB last season with 201 runs at strike rate of 124.07 across eight games. What might have also prompted the decision regarding De Kock, is the lack of consistency that West Indies opener Evin Lewis played with right throughout the 2018 edition.
Having also featured for Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad, De Kock has a very fine record in the history of IPL, scoring 573 of his 927 runs in the Powerplay, at a strike-rate of 125.6.
While there has been a mid-season window to trade uncapped players and players who had not played more than two matches, introduced from 2018, there are other trading timings available as well, with the first one starting immediately at the end of the season leading upto a month before the auctions, the other one from the auction till the start of the tournament.
The last date for the retention and first release is November 15 and so, it is expected that the auctions will take place around December 15-20. A budget of INR 3 crore will be available for the franchises in addition to the balance left after last year's auction, for the same.
The franchises, already busy in their preparations for the upcoming edition, also seek information over where the league will be held in 2019 because India's general elections are scheduled to take place around a similar time as the tournament.
In 2014, the same situation forced the IPL governing council to play first 20 games in United Arab Emirates but it is learnt, that the eight franchises weren't happy with the slow nature of the surfaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and prefer South Africa as the best alternative venue. The rainbow nation also hosted the whole event, quite famously, in 2009.