Rajasthan Royals chairman reveals why Ben Stokes was bought for 12.5 crore
What's the story?
For the second year in a row, Ben Stokes was the most expensive player in the IPL auction. In 2017, it was the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise who bagged him. This time around, it was the Rajasthan Royals, who returned to the auctions after a two year ban.
After a stiff battle, the Royals finally bought the services of the English all-rounder for Rs. 12.5 crore.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Manaoj Badale, chairman and majority stakeholder revealed the reason for buying Stokes.
“We have not just bought Ben Stokes for this season but for the future development of the franchise. We were fully aware of his trial, but we cannot worry about the outcome of things that we can’t control,” he said.
“We are excited by both players (Stokes and Unadkat) joining the Royals. Both bring unique skills, and also create a unique balance. The fact that they were costly simply confirms that other teams see their value as well.”
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Stokes is currently under trial for a pub brawl which took place in Bristol a few months ago. Due to the investigations, he missed the Ashes as well, and was not named in the ODI squad either.
Stokes' participation in the IPL also is in doubt due to a court case related to the Bristol incident that could take months to conclude. If found guilty, he could face three years in jail.
The Royals also spent a hefty amount on Indian pacer Jaydev Unadkat, who was bought for Rs. 11.5 crore.
Apart from them, they also purchased rising star Jofra Archer, English wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, and Big Bash League sensation D'Arcy Short.
They will look to perform well in the IPL and lift the trophy after a gap of 10 years.
After the mega auction, the IPL is set to begin on April 7 in Mumbai.
It did not come as a big surprise when Ben Stokes became the costliest buy for a second year in a row. However, it would be a big blow to the Royals if he is not allowed to participate in the tournament due to the ongoing court case.
The Royals squad looks really strong on paper and they would be hoping for a good performance in the lucrative tournament which begins in April.