Rajeev Shukla

Bengaluru, Feb 20 (IANS) Wishing all the franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the player auction here on Monday, the tournament’s Chairman Rajeev Shukla hoped the 10th edition of the cash-rich league will be better than the previous editions.

“I am confident that IPL 10 will be better than the other editions. Best wishes to all the teams,” Shukla said after 66 players, including 27 overseas players, were sold to the franchises at the auction.

Among the costliest buys, England’s Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills got a whopping Rs 14.5 crore and Rs 12 crore deal from Rising Pune Supergiants (RPSG) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Interestingly, Stokes’ limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan was taken at a base price of Rs 2 crore by Kings XI Punjab while all-rounder Chris Woakes was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs 4 crore. English opener Jason Roy was picked by the Gujarat Lions for Rs 1 crore while pacer Chris Jordan went for Rs 50 lakh to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

But the surprise package was 18-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan (Rs 4 crore) and all-rounder Mohammed Nabi (Rs 30 lakh) being bought by defending champions Hyderabad, making them the first Afghanistan cricketers to be bought by an IPL franchise.

However, the day also witnessed some of the top names including top-ranked One-day Internationals (ODI) and Twenty20I bowler Imran Tahir of South Africa and India Test stars Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and premier all-rounder Irfan Pathan, failing to find any takers.

The IPL will be played from April 5 to May 21, with the opening match and final scheduled to take place in Hyderabad.