Bengaluru, October 20: In the first trade action ahead of IPL 2019, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore sold South Africa's wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock to Mumbai Indians.
Royal Challengers had bought De Kock for Rs 2.8 crore in the IPL 2018 auction held in Bengaluru in January. Mumbai Indians have purchased the services of the 25-year-old wicketkeeper batsman from South Africa at the same price. To offset the deal, Mumbai Indians owned by Reliance Industries have released Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman (INR 2.2 crore) and Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dananjaya (INR 50 lakh).
Even before buying De Kock, Mumbai Indians have two wicketkeepers in their squad - Ishan Kishan and Aditya Tare. However, Rohit Sharma may include De Kock in the XI asking Ishan Kishan to bat as a specialist batsman. De Kock can also open Mumbai's innings along with West Indies' Evin Lewis.
Before joining RCB in IPL 2018, De Kock had played for Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The South African cricketer has played 34 IPL matches and scored 927 runs with the help of a century and six fifties at an average of 28.09 and with a strike rate of 130.
The last date for IPL franchises to retain and release their players are November 15 and a purse of INR 3 crore will be available to the clubs in addition to the remaining balance after last year's auction.
Meanwhile, the ESPNCricinfo reported that the auction ahead of the IPL 2019 will be held in Goa on December 16. The franchises were told that the auction was supposed to happen between December 15 and 20.
The franchises will also want clarity over where the IPL will take place in 2019 because India's general elections will be taking place around the same time as the tournament. This had been the case in 2014 as well when, owing to security concerns, the first set of matches were played in the UAE.