Mitchell Starc Sets IPL Auction Record with Kolkata Knight Riders Deal
In a remarkable turn of events, Australia’s fast bowler Mitchell Starc has etched his name in the annals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) history. His signing for a whopping 24.75 crore Indian rupees (£2.3m) by Kolkata Knight Riders has set a new benchmark, becoming the most expensive buy in the league’s history.
A Stellar Auction Day for Australian Cricketers
The IPL auction was a day of triumph for Australian cricket. Starc’s record-breaking deal overshadowed the earlier record set by compatriot Pat Cummins, who was snapped up for 20.5 crore Indian rupees (£1.9m). Both Starc and Cummins, instrumental in Australia’s recent 50-over World Cup win and the 2021 T20 World Cup victory, found themselves at the centre of a frenzied bidding war.
England’s Presence in the IPL Auction
The auction also saw significant interest in English cricketers. Chris Woakes joined the Punjab Kings, and Harry Brook was acquired by the Delhi Capitals. While Woakes fetched 4.2 crore Indian rupees (£400,000), Brook’s price tag was 4 crore Indian rupees (£380,000) – a notable decrease from his previous year’s fee. Sam Curran’s record from 2022, at 18.15 crore Indian rupees (£1.85m), was surpassed in this year’s auction.
Notable International Signings
The auction wasn’t just about Australian and English players. New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell was signed for 14 crore Indian rupees (£1.3m) by Chennai Super Kings, who also secured Mitchell’s teammate Rachin Ravindra for 1.8 crore Indian rupees (£170,000). Ravindra’s performance in the 50-over World Cup this autumn had undoubtedly boosted his stock.
Cummins and Starc: The Australian Duo in Demand
The room was reportedly filled with gasps when Cummins’ bidding crossed the 20 crore mark for the first time in IPL auction history. However, it was Starc who ultimately claimed the record, returning to the T20 competition after an eight-year hiatus. His signing followed intense bidding, underscoring the high regard in which he is held.
Other Significant Signings Across Teams
Sunrisers Hyderabad engaged in a bidding war with Royal Challengers Bangalore for Cummins, eventually securing his services. They also added Australia batter Travis Head, the player of the match in the World Cup final win over India, for 6.8 crore Indian rupees (£645,000). Meanwhile, RCB spent 11.50 crore Indian rupees (£1.1m) on West Indies’ Alzarri Joseph, and Rajasthan Royals bought all-rounder Rovman Powell for 7.40 crore Indian rupees (£702,000).
Diverse International Talent in the IPL
The auction further highlighted the IPL’s international appeal, with Mumbai Indians signing South African bowler Gerald Coetzee and Sri Lankan left-armer Dilshan Madushanka. Punjab Kings strengthened their pace attack by acquiring India’s Harshal Patel for 11.75 crore Indian rupees (£1.1m).
Unsold Players with Potential for Future Bids
The auction also had its share of surprises, with England opener Phil Salt and leg-spinner Adil Rashid going unsold. However, there remains a possibility for them to be picked up in the later stages of the auction.
The IPL auction day was a spectacle of strategic bids and surprising turns, particularly for Australian cricketers. Starc’s record-breaking deal is a testament to his prowess and the value he brings to the Kolkata Knight Riders. As the IPL continues to attract global cricketing talents, the upcoming season promises to be a showcase of some of the best in the sport.