Somerset opener Tom Banton could get an IPL contract at next month’s auction in Kolkata as Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, who are two of the most successful franchises of the world’s best T20 league, have shown interest in him.
According to the British daily The Mail, both MI and CSK have enquired about Banton to Somerset about his availability in next year’s IPL which is scheduled to take place in April-May. In the upcoming season of IPL, most of the English cricketers will be available for the entire tournament, unlike the previous editions where they had to leave just ahead of the playoffs.
The 20-year-old Banton made his T20 debut for Somerset in July 2017. The right-handed opener has played 17 T20 matches for his county in which he amassed 591 runs at an impressive average of 39.40.
Banton has so far smashed one century and four half-centuries in his short T20 career at an aggressive strike rate of 154.30. He has also showcased his prowess behind the stumps by taking six catches and three stumpings.
If Banton is picked up at the upcoming IPL players’ auction, it would add another achievement to his limited-overs career in which he has already been roped in by Qalandars to play in the Abu Dhabi’s T10 League and also Brisbane Heat have also picked in the Englishman for this year’s Big Bash League (BBL).
Because of his 360-degree batting, Banton is often compared with Jos Buttler and Kevin Pietersen.
England’s domestic season also gets underway at the same time as the IPL so it remains to be seen if Banton will be available for the cash-rich league in India. Also, it will be interesting to see which team bags him at the auction if he is available for the next year’s IPL.
The 2020 IPL Auction will take place on December 19, 2019 in Kolkata.