Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has admitted that he still cannot believe he attracted the highest bid for a foreign player in Indian Premier League (IPL) history.
Stokes will feature in the star-studded tournament in India after being bought by the Rising Pune Supergiants for a jaw-dropping INR 14.5 crore (approximately USD 2.16 million).
The 25-year-old, who was named England’s vice-captain in Tests last week, conceded that he is extremely grateful for all the support and added that he is now ready to take the IPL by storm.
“It’s been a pretty incredible week and, considering you normally have your most exciting times when you’re playing, it’s been an amazing and interesting few days,” Stokes said. “I set my alarm for 3.30am, got up and waited about 40 minutes for my turn in the auction. I was anxious, not really knowing what would happen.
“I was following it on Twitter, I didn’t actually see it live. I kept on refreshing my notifications, I saw people were tweeting and then I realised that Pune had got me.”
Stokes revealed that it initially took him a little time to figure out what was transpiring since he was unsure about how the Indian currency system worked.
“I wasn’t sure how much a Crore was, people were retweeting stuff, it was complete carnage,” he said. “I still haven’t seen the footage.
“I hadn’t thought about how much I would go for. I guess having more than one team wanting me was probably the best position to be in.
“I just wanted to get picked up and play. I haven’t been able to play in the past so that was the main thing, anything else was just a bonus. I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting involved.
“Seven times my base amount – that’s mental and it hasn’t sunk in yet, but pretty cool to think about I guess. Hopefully I’ll live up to it, win a few games and deliver on what they’ve paid for me.
“It’s a life changing amount of money, I can’t really say more than that. I’m really thankful and grateful for how it went this morning. I’m struggling to put it into words.
“It has all been a bit hectic and I haven’t had much time to think about it. I’m just seriously excited about getting going.”
Meanwhile, Stokes’ compatriot Tymal Mills was sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 12 crore (approximately USD 1.8 million), making him the highest paid specialist bowler in IPL history.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
The winning bid for Mills was 24 times his base price of USD 74,000 and for the 24-year-old, it was an unexpected occurrence as he only started his international career in July last year.
Furthermore, with a back problem having forced him to retire from first class cricket, Mills had been looking for a job until the start of Sussex’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t put into words what happened,” the seamer said. “I did not see this coming and it took a while for it to sink in. It has been a crazy day.
“I was the lowest of the base prices because I just wanted to get picked up by a team. I didn’t want to wait until July for my next cricket.
“My agent had spoken to some of the teams and there had been some interest but until it happens you just don’t know what will happen.”
Mills was highly impressive in the recent three-match Twenty20 series against India, where he picked up three wickets.
Opening up more on the moment his name came up at the auction, Mills said: “When my name came up I was nervous, giddy and jumpy. I was on Facetime with my best mate and he just kept shouting.
“The bidding was quite slow but once it hit 10 Crore I knew it was big money, but it kept going. When it finished I did not know how much it was worth. When I worked it out I could not believe it, it did not seem real. It’s an amount of money that can change your life. It will for me.
“I went for breakfast with Luke Wright after watching the auction and he said the back injury might have been the best thing that ever happened to me. It was sad at the time, being 22 and having to think about retiring from the game, but being able to focus on T20 has accelerated my development.
“This is my first winter on the T20 circuit. I’ve played in the Big Bash, have the IPL coming up and am looking forward to playing with the Sussex lads in the Blast this summer too.
“It’s been fun. I’ve travelled the world and met some cool people. I’m grateful.”