Gayle sneaks into IPL at third time of asking


Chris Gayle almost missed out on a place at the IPL, but Kings XI Punjab offered the explosive West Indian a deal, although fellow Twenty20 icon Lasith Malinga went unselected on day two of the player auction.

Gayle's 3626 runs are the seventh-most in the competition's history, while his 175 not out scored for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in 2013 remains the record score across the world in the T20 format.

The West Indian was released by RCB and had gone unselected on day one of the auction - which saw Ben Stokes once again the top-paid star at $2million - and Gayle also went unselected when the free agents were up for grabs again on day two.

However, with a third pass Gayle was picked by Kings XI for around $310,000.

Two players moved for seven-figure sums on Sunday. Shortly after taking a five-for for Australia against England in Perth, Andrew Tye moved to Kings XI for $1.1million, while Indian seamer Jaydev Unadkat was a $1.8m capture for the Rajasthan Royals.

Murali Vijay ($310k to Chennai Super Kings), Parthiv Patel ($265k to RCB) and Mitchell Johnson ($310k to Kolkata Knight Riders) were big names to get a deal after being overlooked on day one, although there were surprise snubs for Martin Guptill, Dale Steyn, England ODI captain Eoin Morgan and Malinga.

Malinga has taken 154 wickets in 110 IPL matches - the most of any bowler - at a stunning average of 19.01, but the 34-year-old Sri Lankan has battled fitness issues for much of the past year.