Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Joe Root, and Mitchell Starc have decided to skip this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). The star players, big names in international cricket, have decided not to enroll for the mega-auction, to be held on February 12 and 13.
Root had previously declared that he would have to sacrifice IPL for England and Test cricket, but the absence of Stokes, Archer, and Starc was a surprise. Over 1200 players (1214 precisely) have made it to the initial list of the auction register shared with the IPL franchises on Friday night (January 22).
Some of the big international names who have made themselves available are Pat Cummins (Australia, base price Rs 2 crore), David Warner (Australia, Rs 2 crore), Steve Smith (Australia, Rs 2 crore), Quinton de Kock (South Africa, Rs 2 crore), Faf du Plessis (South Africa, Rs 2 crore) and Mark Wood (England, Rs 2 crore). Wood, one of the fastest bowlers, was a prominent absentee from last year’s auction.
The South African pace trio of Kagiso Rabada (Rs 2 crore) Lungi Ngidi (Rs 50 lakh) and Marco Jansen (Rs 50 lakh), who tormented India in the just-concluded Test series, have enrolled themselves for the auction, likely to be held in Bangalore. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has, however, not mentioned the dates and venue of the auction in the mail.
Among others, Dwayne Bravo (Rs 2 crore) has put his name up, but another big name missing from the list is Chris Gayle. The Jamaican has been a regular feature in the IPL since its inception but the West Indies veteran, who is surely near the autumn of his international career, may have realized the diminishing batting returns.
Of the 1,214 names on the Auction Register, 896 are Indian players and 318 are overseas players. The list incorporates 270 capped, 903 uncapped, and 41 players from Associate nations like Nepal, UAE, Oman, Scotland, and the Netherlands. There are 14 players from the USA too.