Ben Stokes attracts big IPL offer as Joe Root goes unsold

Sportswallah IPL Auction 2018 Predictions Mitchell Starc should fetch between Rs 7 to 8.5 crore

Last season all eight franchises had an England global in their ranks and all-rounder Ben Stokes, the 2017 tournament's most valuable player, was bought for £1.4m by the Rajasthan Royals in this year's auction.

Kolkata Knight Riders paid Rs 9.4 crore for Mitchell Starc, after the Australia pace spearhead had pulled out of Royal Challengers Bangalore's IPL 2017 campaign due to ankle injury.

Meanwhile, the player Gautam Gambhir went to Delhi Daredevils team.

England's Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings also remain without a franchise, although they could, like Root, still be snapped up by one of the eight franchises when bidding in Bengaluru enters a second day.

KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab), Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings) were among the most expensive Indian players sold. South Africa's David Miller would've been an MI player had Kings XI Punjab not played the RTM (Right to match) card. "After that nothing surprised me - not even the kind of prices attracted by players like Stokes".

Sussex bowler Jofra Archer, who has been making headlines in Australia's Big Bash League and will become eligible to play for England in 2022, will be alongside Stokes and Buttler after becoming a million dollar buy as the Royals splashed out $1.125m (£793,200). After a record-breaking 14.5 crore when now defunct Pune Supergiants bid for him, will be in the focus on Saturday. The first player in today's auction, Shikhar Dhawan goes to Kings XI Punjab Rs 5.20 crore.

Last season, Archers' team-mate, Tymal Mills, was plucked from relative obscurity to hit the jackpot - joining the Royal Challenges Bangalore for £1.4m. There are 16 players who have been awarded marquee status and a base price of Rs.2 crore. He was a part of the Delhi Daredevils squad last season but didn't get a chance courtesy to Delhi's already experienced bowling attack. Incidentally, Rahul and Pandey were the richest Indian buys on the day. This time there are around 578 players in the fray along with 200 worldwide players for the IPL auction. The Royals were inaugural IPL champions in 2008 under Australian legend Shane Watson, but were barred for two seasons with Chennai Super Kings in 2015 over a spot-fixing scandal. Indian batsman Karun Nair was purchased by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 5.60 crore. The strong, aggressive all-rounder totted up 316 runs in 12 matches for Pune past year, along with 12 wickets, justifying his hefty price tag - which was a record for a foreign player.

Preity was also engulfed in some stunning bidding wars with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) representative Jhanvi Mehta, the daughter of Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta. Sunrisers Hyderabad, however, used Right to Match (RTM) and grabbed the opportunity at the same price. Sunrisers Hyderabad use RTM to retains Rashid Khan for Rs 9 crore.

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