A host of international players would have been glued to their phones this weekend as the news of the IPL auction filtered in. English all-rounder Chris Woakes was flying with the national team from Adelaide to Perth for the 5th ODI against Australia when the auction began. Woakes must have had absolutely no idea as to what were going to be Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) plans.
However, as soon as the team landed, Woakes found out that he had been purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping £821,500 (7.4 CR), a huge improvement from his £500,000 contract with KKR last year. The 28-year-old had a fairly successful stint with KKR last year, but most probably it was his excellent performance with the bat and ball in the ongoing ODI series against Australia that saw his demand rise exponentially on Saturday.
Following the confirmation of RCB’s bid for Chris Woakes, he said, “There were a few things being shouted about on the flight. Jason Roy had been sold to Delhi, Stokesy went for a fortune, and we were just waiting for names to come through.”
“It wasn’t until we got onto the bus that my name came through. I saw it come through on an app and I was over the moon. All the lads there and everyone talking about it was a great feeling.
“It’s crazy to think as a cricketer you could earn that sort of money for the amount of time you’re going to be playing. It’s mind boggling really. I wasn’t even sure if I’d get picked up.”
“This is comfortably life-changing. Last year I’d just got married and it certainly paid for the wedding, put it that way. It’s great to see English players getting the opportunity to play in it and earn that sort of money.”
It was fairly mixed day for the English players in the IPL auction. Last year’s record signing Ben Stokes was again much in demand this year, however it was the Rajasthan Royals who managed to snap him up for a mind boggling £1.4m (12.5 CR). Moeen Ali joined Woakes at RCB with a salary of £190,000 (1.7 CR). While Jos Buttler will join Stokes at Rajasthan for the sum of £488,000 (4.4 CR). England’s test captain Joe Root was one of the many players who were unsold on Day 1 but will get a chance in the final stages of Day 2.
Speak about the various moods in the dressing room, Chris Woakes said, “Of course you have to be sensitive (to those who were unsold) but guys are old enough and wise enough to know that sometimes it is a bit of a lottery.
“You’re not going to go around gloating. We’re all mates and team-mates and we’ll keep that pretty low key.”
Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali will be playing alongside class players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at RCB. The all-rounder is very happy to have the opportunity to spend time with such quality players. “It’s a great opportunity to mingle with these sorts of players. When you’re on the same team, it’ll be good to pick brains. It can only develop you as a cricketer,” Chris Woakes concluded at the end.