Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite believes that a bigger bidding war will take place for Rising Pune Supergiants superstar Ben Stokes at next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
Stokes made headlines at this year’s IPL auction as he became the most expensive overseas player ever sold in the tournament’s history after being bought for a whopping INR 14.5 crore.
Prior to returning to England, Stokes represented the Supergiants in 12 matches and scored 316 runs, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 31.60. He also took 12 wickets at an average of 26.33.
“There was probably a lot more spotlight on him in this tournament than usual because of the price tag, and he has shown a lot of mental toughness in returning to India and the scene of the crime, if you want to call it that,” Brathwaite, who played for the Delhi Daredevils, told Sky Sports. “There will be another big auction next year, and if he is allowed to return – depending on England commitments – he could go for an even heftier price tag.
“A year is a long time in cricket though. You don’t know who will be the next big thing in the next 12 months, or if even the rules of the IPL will change.
“But players like Stokes are worth their weight in gold and if he continues the way he is going, he will fetch a large amount again.”
Brathwaite will forever be remembered for smashing four successive sixes in the last over of the West Indies’ World Twenty20 triumph over England last year.
Even though it was Stokes who bowled that over, Brathwaite holds the 25-year-old in high regard.
“He has always been a decent bowler,” he said. “I don’t think one bad night should define his career, and in the aftermath of the World T20 that seemed to be the case.
“He has just continued to do what he has done successfully over the past few years with England.
“I wouldn’t say he is the best bowler in the world, or even the best allrounder – Andre Russell is currently banned, but is the gold star standard.
“But Stokes is certainly consistent enough, and along with Chris Morris, is probably just behind. People are now really starting to appreciate his skills.”