Archer grabs million-dollar deal, Gayle comes up empty-handed

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BENGALURU, India, (CMC) – Explosive Barbadian allrounder 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 Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who has played only 20 first class matches but is yet to feature in an international, was secured on a U.S. $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 byRoyal Challengers after spending seven seasons with the franchise, but found no takers and will now hope for a buyer on Sunday’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 which 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 shotto prominence in recent months with Hobart Hurricanes in the Australian Big Bash.
The right-arm 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 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. He joins a Royals outfit which includes two of the most expensive players purchased in Australian batting star, Steve Smith, and exciting England allrounder, Ben Stokes.
Brathwaite, meanwhile, will flaunt his all-round skills with his new franchise in a deal worth $314, 640, after turning out for Delhi last season. Pollard was released by Mumbai ahead of the auction but the franchise exercised its Right To Match, after the Trinidadian had been claimed by Delhi for U.S. $851,476. Chennai, returning to the IPL this season following a two-year suspension, also exercised their RTM to hold on to Bravo who had been sold to Kings XI for U.S. $973,116.
Last season, Bravo campaigned for Gujarat Lions, one of two replacement franchises introduced when Chennai and Royals were suspended. The new IPL season bowls off April 7.

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