Kings XI Punjab almost missed out on signing Gayle

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Chris Gayle in action for Kings XI Punjab

Windies batting star Chris Gayle has already turned out to be a bargain signing for Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) but the club is now admitting they only just managed to find enough money to sign him.

After being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore the 38-year-old Gayle entered the draft with a base price of Rs 2 crore (US$ 299,600.00).  Even though it may have seemed an unbelievable deal at the time all eight teams seemed ready to pass up on the record T20 runs scorer as the second round of the draft ended with him unsigned.

The player had struggled in the past two editions of the IPL, managing just 427 runs from 19 matches at an average of just over 22 (just over half his career average) and strike rate of under 140.  A shrewd Punjab, however, signed the player in the third round and the rest, as they say, is history with the player delivering exceptional returns so far.  It was a transaction, however, that almost did not occur.

“We had only Rs 2.1 crore (US$ 314,685) left and if we had bid for Chris earlier (at the auction) and another team came up with a counter bid, we did not have the money to buy him. Luckily, no other team bid for him and we were more than happy to get third time lucky,” the team’s co-owner Ness Wadia told Press Trust of India (PTI).

The move left Kings XI with just Rs 1o lakh (US$15,085), using almost their entire purse of Rs 67.5 crore (US$ 10,114,875) but few will argue it was money not well spent. (SportsMax)

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