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Was willing to spend Rs. 15 Crore on Ben Stokes: Sanjiv Goenka

Rising Pune Supergiants Sanjiv Goenka
Team owner Sanjiv Goenka and MS Dhoni unveil the team jersey. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Rising Pune Supergiants owner Sanjiv Goenka was all smiles after the capture of Ben Stokes. This led Goenka to celebrate having picked up the most sought after player in the auction. However, for the overall context of the Indian Premier League, this is a show of intent given the fact that the Pune-based franchise had a terrible outing the previous season.

Speaking to the telegraph in an exclusive interview, Goneka said that he would have been happy to shell out another 5 Lakh if needed for Stokes and also stated that Steve Smith, the newly appointed skipper wanted Stokes. Goenka also opened up about Tymal Mills.

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“Actually, I’d been willing to spend Rs 15 crore, so Stokes came within our budget… Therefore, I have every reason to be happy… I’d expected Daniel Christian to go for much more than his base price of Rs 1 crore, but we got him for just that. So, it was a nice surprise… Look at quick Tymal Mills, Stokes’s compatriot… His base price was Rs 50 lakh, but he went to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for as much as Rs 12 crore. It’s tough to predict an auction.”

“Smith definitely wanted Stokes, but so did I. I’m delighted the auction went according to our plans and we got all our first-choice players.”

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Speaking about his hands-on approach, Goenka said, “As I’ve told you, I have the Pune franchise for two years only and our debut had been disappointing (ending second from the bottom). The time for Rising Pune Supergiants to make a mark is limited… It’s not about me trying to leave my stamp on the team, but Steve and the players making a big impression in IPL X… Our players should assemble in Pune either on March 29 or 30, but I’ll see them only before the first match, against Mumbai Indians, which is on April 6.”

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