Barbadian Archer grabs million-dollar IPL deal - Gayle comes up empty-handed
BENGALURU, India (CMC):
E xplosive Barbadian all-rounder Jofra Archer has landed a million-dollar deal in the lucrative Indian Premier League after he was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals on the opening day of the auction here, yesterday.
The 22-year-old, who has played only 20 first-class matches but is yet to feature in an international, was secured on a US$1.13 million contract to become the most expensive Caribbean player purchased.
There was no such luck for West Indies superstar opener Chris Gayle, however, who went unsold after entering at a base price of $314 600.
The 38-year-old was released by Royal Challengers after spending seven seasons with the franchise but found no takers and will now hope for a buyer on today's second day.
He struggled last season, garnering only 200 runs from nine innings.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree also went unsold, but there was success for Windies Twenty20 captain Carlos Brathwaite, who was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Mumbai Indians once again secured the services of Kieron Pollard.
All-rounder Dwayne Bravo, the former Windies limited-overs skipper, will ply his trade for Chennai Super Kings once again.
However, it was the deal for Archer's services that captured the attention among the Caribbean players as he went for well above his base price of $40, 000.
A virtual unknown, his name had been on the lips of several IPL franchises since he shot to prominence in recent months with Hobart Hurricanes in the Australian Big Bash.
The right-armer pacer has been one of the standouts in the tournament, grabbing 15 wickets and troubling batsmen with his pace, while also showcasing his superb outfielding.
It was no surprise, therefore, when Delhi Daredevils, Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers, and Royals engaged in a bidding war to secure his services before Royals emerged victors with a hefty price tag.
The lucrative deal represents a bit of a fairy tale for Archer, who only made his first-class debut 18 months ago after spending a couple of years in obscurity, while stricken with a serious back injury.
Signed by Sussex in 2016, Archer was also outstanding for the club during the last county season, claiming 61 wickets to be the club's leading bowler in his first full campaign.
He also lashed 638 runs, while managing 764 runs and 84 wickets across all formats.
Archer has never played senior team cricket for his native Barbados but qualifies to play for England through his father. He has already declared his intention to represent England instead of West Indies.
The new IPL season bowls off on April 7.