England pair's 'life-changing' IPL payday

Duo admit shock after IPL franchises splash the cash, prompting a cheeky Tweet from the Aussie skipper

Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills both needed lessons in how Indian currency is converted after the England pair were sold for “life-changing” figures in Monday’s Indian Premier League auction.

Stokes was bought for AUD $2.8m (INR 14.5 crore, GBP £1.7m) by the Rising Pune Supergiants, the highest figure paid for an overseas player, and Mills for a cool $2.3m by Royal Challengers Bangalore after a couple of intense bidding wars.

While Stokes didn’t have access to vision of the live auction, the 25-year-old got up early to follow it on social media and fast realised he would need to brush up on what a ‘crore’ (10 million in the Indian numbering system) and a ‘lakh’ (100,000) were.

IPL auction: Aussies and the big money deals

"I set my alarm for 3.30am, got up and waited about 40 minutes for my turn in the auction,” Stokes, who became the most expensive overseas signing in the tournament’s history, explained. “I was anxious, not really knowing what would happen.

"I was following it on Twitter, I didn't actually see it live. I kept on refreshing my notifications, I saw people were tweeting and then I realised that Pune had got me."

"I wasn't sure how much a crore was, people were retweeting stuff, it was complete carnage. I still haven't seen the footage.

"Seven times my base amount - that's mental and it hasn't sunk in yet, but pretty cool to think about I guess. Hopefully I'll live up to it, win a few games and deliver on what they've paid for me."

"It's a life-changing amount of money, I can't really say more than that. I'm really thankful and grateful for how it went this morning. I'm struggling to put it into words.

"It has all been a bit hectic and I haven't had much time to think about it. I'm just seriously excited about getting going."

Stokes does it all in Chittagong

Stokes will line-up alongside Australia captain Steve Smith, who was announced as MS Dhoni’s replacement as Pune’s captain for the upcoming IPL, as well as fellow Australians Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Adam Zampa and new signing Dan Christian.

Smith was quick to suggest his Ashes rival should be the one to purchase any post-match beverages during the tournament, which begins April 5.   

The mammoth payday caps a big week for Stokes, who was last week named as vice-captain of the England Test side under new skipper Joe Root.

"It's been a pretty incredible week and, considering you normally have your most exciting times when you're playing,” Stokes said.

“It's been an amazing and interesting few days."

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While Stokes was expected to be wanted man, eyebrows were raised when his England teammate Tymal Mills became the most expensive specialist bowler ever signed in the auction.

Mills, who played two games for the Brisbane Heat in the recent KFC Big Bash League, will play alongside the likes of batting giants Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, as well as Aussie pair Shane Watson and Travis Head.

The left-arm paceman, forced to give up first-class cricket and become a T20 specialist after being diagnosed with a chronic back condition, admitted shock at his eventual price. 

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"I can't believe it. I can't put into words what happened," Mills said. "I did not see this coming and it took a while for it to sink in. It has been a crazy day.

"When my name came up I was nervous, giddy and jumpy. I was on Facetime with my best mate and he just kept shouting.

"The bidding was quite slow but once it hit 10 Crore I knew it was big money, but it kept going.

"When it finished I did not know how much it was worth. When I worked it out I could not believe it, it did not seem real. 

“It's an amount of money that can change your life. It will for me.”