England all-rounder Ben Stokes emerged as the costliest player to be sold in Indian Premier League (IPL) auction today after he was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping Rs 14.50 crore. But the show was stolen by his fellow countryman Tymal Mills, who was taken by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a mind-boggling Rs 12 crore.
There were some other surprise biddings in the auction as some uncapped Indian players got as much as a 30-fold hike on their base price.
Here are six underdogs of the IPL auction who went for much more than what they had expected:
Tymal Mills (England, RCB)
24-year-old left-arm fast bowler from England Tymal Mills was one of the biggest surprises in the auction today when the promising cricketer was acquired by the RCB for USD 1.8 million (Rs 12 crore).
Mills has played 55 Twenty20 matches, fetching 63 wickets with a reasonably good economy rate of 7.47. In four T20 International matches, he has three wickets at the average of 38.66. Mills, who bowls at 90 mph, would be a replacement for Australian Mitchell Starc, who pulled out of the IPL yesterday.
Rashid Khan Arman (Afghanistan, Sunrisers Hyderabad)
18-year-old leg-spinner from Afghanistan Rashid Khan Arman was one of the biggest surprises in the morning session when Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bought him for Rs 4 crore (USD 600,000).
Along with all-rounder Mohammed Nabi who was sold for Rs 30 lakh, Rashid became the first Afghanistan cricketers to be bought by an IPL franchise.
In his 21 T20I matches, Rashid has 31 wickets at 16.06 with an economy of 6.14 runs per over.
T Natarajan (India, Kings XI Punjab)
The uncapped Indian players had a field day at the IPL auctions today with little-known Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer T Natarajan going for Rs 3 crore (USD 448,000) to Kings XI Punjab, a 30-fold hike over his base price of Rs 10 lakh.
The 25-year-old is a regular in Tamil Nadu's Ranji Trophy squad and has finished the season with 27 wickets in nine matches to help the team make the quarter-finals.
He came to prominence with his success for Dindigul Dragons during the 2016 Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) in which he took 10 wickets in seven matches.
Mohammed Siraj (India, Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Hyderabad's medium pacer Mohammed Siraj was one of the biggest surprise packages in the afternoon session. The 22-year-old bowler was bought by his home franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 2.6 crore, over 10 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
His new break comes on the back of a stellar Ranji session where he emerged as the third-highest wicket-taker with 41 at 18.92 apiece. In Inter-State T20 Tournament, he had taken nine wickets at 13.88 with an economy rate of 6.57.
Krishnappa Gowtham (India, Mumbai Indians)
Karnataka spinner Krishnappa Gowtham was sold for 20 times his base price of Rs 10 lakh. The 28-year-old spinner-allrounder was bought by the Mumbai Indians for Rs 2 crore.
Gowtham had a remarkable domestic season with 27 wickets in eight matches of Ranji Trophy for Karnataka, including a career-best 7/108.
Aniket Choudhary (India- RCB)
Rajasthan medium pacer Aniket Choudhary was bought by the RCB for Rs 2 crore, 20 times his base price of Rs 10 lakh. He comes into RCB squad on the back of a notable domestic season.
He scalped 21 wickets in the Ranji Trophy for Rajasthan, five in three Syed Mushtaq Ali matches, then 4/26 for India A against Bangladesh. In four matches of the Inter State T20 Tournament, he took six wickets.