Somerset opener Tom Banton could be set for an IPL contract at next month's IPL auction in Kolkata as Chennai Super Kings & Mumbai Indians, who are two of the most successful franchises of IPL, have shown interest in him.
According to media reports, both CSK and MI have enquired about Banton to Somerset about his availability in next year’s IPL which will be played in April. In the upcoming IPL season, England international players will be available for the entire tournament unlike the previous seasons when they had to leave just ahead of the playoffs.
Tom Banton made his T20 debut for Somerset in July 2017. The right-handed opening batsman has played 17 T20 matches for his county where he has scored 591 runs at an impressive average of 39.40. The wicketkeeper-batsman has smashed one century and four half-centuries in his short T20 career at a strike rate of 154.30. He has also showcased his prowess behind the stumps by taking six catches and three stumpings.
If Banton is picked up at the IPL auction, it would add another achievement to his limited-overs career in which he has already been picked up by Qalandars to play in the UAE's T10 League and also Brisbane Heat have also roped in the Englishman for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League. Banton could not score big as he made just 11 and 6 in the two warm-up games in Lincoln last week. Because of his 360-degree batting, he is compared with Jos Buttler and Kevin Pietersen.
England’s domestic season also gets underway at the same time as the IPL so it remains to be seen if Tom Banton will be available. It will be interesting to see which team bags him at the IPL auction if at all he is available for the next year’s IPL.
The IPL Auction will take place on 19th December 2019 in Kolkata.