Gayle in unfamiliar territory with late acquisition

Chris Gayle

BENGALURU, India, CMC – Superstar Chris Gayle squeezed into the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League but just barely, after he was picked up on the third time of asking on day two of the auction here Sunday.

The 38-year-old, once the face of the lucrative Twenty20 league, found no takers in the first two round of bids before Kings XI Punjab claimed him the third time around for his modest base price US$312 000.

Gayle, released by Royal Challengers Bangalore following last season, had gone unsold on Saturday’s opening day of the auction.

With his form diminishing last season and injuries taking their toll, Gayle became an unattractive prospect for franchises in this year’s bargaining.

However, as evidenced by his form in last November’s Bangladesh Premier League, Gayle remains a dangerous player and will be one of the biggest names for Kings XI along with fellow overseas players, South African David Miller and Australian Marcus Stoinis.

Gayle’s heir apparent, Evin Lewis, was the other West Indies player to be snapped up on Sunday by Mumbai Indians for nearly $600 000.

The left-hander will join fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard who was retained by the franchise on Saturday’s opening day.

Several West Indies players, however, went unsold in the auction, including seasoned IPL batsman Lendl Simmons who entered at a base price of $236 000.

Also untouched were West Indies Test and one-day captain, Jason Holder, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams and Sheldon Cottrell.The IPL bowls off April

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