Stokes again big attraction in IPL auction, Root unsold

Former New Zealand cricketer and Chennai Super Kings team coach Stephen Fleming speaks during a press conference on the first day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction in Bangalore, India, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. The IPL auctions are being held in Bangalore for the eleventh edition of the domestic Twenty20 cricket tournament, which will be held at different venues across the country with eight teams participating. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

BANGALORE, India — England captain Joe Root went unsold in the Indian Premier League player auction on Saturday while allrounder Ben Stokes again proved popular despite his ongoing court case.

The chief executive of the Rajasthan Royals, Ranjit Barthakur, described Stokes as "a fantastic performer, a cricketer of today and a cricketer of the future," after buying him for almost 1.4 million pounds ($1.99 million) for the Twenty20 tournament.

Stokes last year became the most expensive overseas player in the competition's history when he signed a 1.7 million pound deal with Rising Pune Supergiant before going on to claim the competition's most valuable player award.

He was again listed as one of the 16 marquee players this time around despite being due to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Feb. 13 having been charged with affray. The IPL had guaranteed he can be replaced but only if he is ruled out for the whole tournament.

Root was one of three big names to go unsold during the early rounds of bidding, alongside West Indies opener Chris Gayle and South Africa's Hashim Amla.

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