Ben Stokes was the most expensive sale, even as T20 legend Chris Gayle went unsold, after the first round of the IPL auction on Saturday.

Rajasthan Royals got hold of Stokes for a whopping Rs 12.50 crore to outbid Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.

In a surprising occurrence, West Indian swashbuckler Gayle went unsold in the first round. Gayle had set his base price at INR 2 crore. He’s been vital for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their previous campaigns but the ageing opener had a forgettable year.

Ravichandran Ashwin, for the first time, will play in a team that doesn’t have Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Ashwin’s played for CSK and Rising Pune Supergiant previously. Rajasthan and KXIP entered a heated bidding with each one trying to outdo each other. But the Punjab team roped him in with Rs 7.6 crore.

Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out Rs 9.40 crore to buy Mitchell Starc, one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He was the second-most expensive buy.

On four occasions in the first round, the teams used their Right To Match card to regain their players. First, Sunrisers Hyderabad did to match Kings XI Punjab’s Rs 5.2 crore bid to get Shikhar Dhawan. Then, CSK got back Faf du Plessis by matching KXIP’s Rs 1.6 crore. Mumbai Indians got Ajinkya Rahane for Rs 4 crore, but Rajasthan Royals had him back with RTM. MI, as expected, used RTM to regain Kieron Pollard after Delhi Daredevils brought him for Rs 5.40 crore.

KXIP, again, lost a winning bid in the second round because of RTM, when CSK bought back all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for Rs 6.4 crore. Kane Williamson also went back to his old franchise, SRH, for Rs 3 crore.

CSK got veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for his price of INR 2 crore. Sunrisers roped in Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for the same amount.

Delhi Daredevils brought Glenn Maxwell for Rs 9 crore, outbidding RCB; KXIP didn’t use their RTM on him.

Meanwhile, former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir went to his home franchise – DD – for Rs 2.8 crore.

More to follow