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What Made Ben Stokes the Highest Paid Player at the IPL 2017 Auction?

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 | 1:49 PM

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All eyes in the cricketing world are on Ben Stokes and why shouldn’t they be? He stole the show at the IPL 2017 Auction by fetching a record of being the costliest foreign player in the history of the IPL. Almost all the teams at IPL 2017 tried their luck at the auction and placed bid after bid to buy Ben Stokes. But ultimately Rising Pune Supergiants triumphed in bringing in the English all-rounder for an unpredictably high price. Stokes was in line to be picked, but little did he know that the IPL teams would fight a battle of bids to win him. You may know that Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) bought Ben Stokes for a whopping price of Rs. 14.5 Crore. But do you know the reasons that made him obtain this incredible value? Here goes…

Stokes is new to the IPL, but not to cricket, as he has represented England for many years and is the current vice-captain of the English Test team. He has a batting strike rate of over 134 plus and a bowling economy rate of 8.60 in 77 matches in T20 format.

Be it the shorter version or test cricket, Stokes ensures he exhibits his usual game without holding back. Ben Stokes holds the record for England's fastest ever test double-century, the fastest ever test match 250 and the highest ever score for a test batsman batting at six. He also holds the record for the most runs scored by an individual batsman in the morning session of a Test match. To add to this, Ben Stokes has shown a consistent outstanding performance, both as a batsman and a bowler, in the last two years. To top this, are his exceptional fielding skills. He is an indispensable all-rounder and that’s just what the realm of cricket is hungry for. In addition to all these attributes, one factor that truly makes Ben Stokes unique is his virtue.

 What’s more intriguing about him is that he is a right-armed fast-medium paced bowler and a left- handed batsman. He also bowls occasional right arm off spin. So, while his slow ball delivery can baffle the batsman, his ability to strike sixes can leave the fielder pondering. If you simply look back at the recent India-England series, you’ll figure out what made Ben Stokes so invaluable to this season’s IPL teams. In the India v/s England ODI, Ben Stokes scored 62 runs from 40 balls. His half-century comprised of two fours and five sixes. But Stokes' 11 sixes are the most maximums ever hit by an English player in one Test innings.

Above everything, Ben is a real team player, composed and ever ready to execute any role in cricket. He carries an aura of optimism and boosts the confidence of the team with his infectious personality and promising performance. Perhaps this is why Mr. Goenka feels that Stokes is a complete player and he completes their squad.

Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) seemed lacking on the dynamism and inspiration throughout the last season. From decisions gone wrong to the team falling apart to injured players, time didn’t seem to favour them, but this high-profile purchase seems to be a fresh start. It’s obvious that everyone has high expectations from the world’s highest paid all-rounder. He definitely has the verve and potential to set the pitch on fire. “Whether Stokes will ‘stoke-up’ Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) or not”? Let’s wait and watch.

 

Source: BCCI; IPLT20; ESPNCricinfo

 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 | 1:49 PM

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