During the IPL 2023 auction in Kochi, England all-rounder Ben Stokes was acquired by the four-times champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for a whopping amount of Rs 16.25 crore. Stokes had a base price of Rs 2 crore.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) initially competed for Stokes, with the bid quickly reaching Rs 5 crore. The Royals and the Challengers continued to engage in a back-and-forth bidding process, with the Royals taking the lead at Rs 6.75 crore. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) then increased the bid to Rs 7 crore, and a new bidding war for Stokes began between LSG and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
The Sunrisers are in need of a captain after releasing Kane Williamson and were, therefore, bidding aggressively for Stokes. LSG regained the lead at Rs 14 crore, but CSK soon entered the bid at Rs 15.25 crore. The Super Kings ultimately bought Stokes for Rs 16.25 crore, making the Englishman the most expensive player to be roped by them, surpassing Deepak Chahar. Stokes has previously worked with current CSK skipper MS Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming at Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS).
However, Dhoni was not the captain then, and RPS was led by Steve Smith for their last season in the lucrative league in 2017. Stokes played a key role in taking the Pune-based franchise to the final.
Following the confirmation of CSK’s winning bid for him, Stokes posted a special message on his social media accounts, winning the hearts of the fans of the Yellow Army. Stokes uploaded a yellow picture showing his delight of being snapped by the Dhoni-led outfit.
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) December 23, 2022
Stokes had skipped the IPL 2022 due to international commitments. The 31-year-old has a mixed bag of records in the league, and CSK would hope he turns up for the franchise as they look to equal Mumbai Indians’ (MI) IPL record of 5 titles.