On December 19, Mitchell Starc made history as the most expensive signing in Indian Premier League (IPL) history, joining the Kolkata Knight Riders for a staggering INR 24.75 crores during the IPL 2024 auction. This surpasses the previous record of INR 20.50 crores paid by Sunrisers Hyderabad for his compatriot Pat Cummins in the same auction. Both Australian fast bowlers became the first players to breach the INR 20 crore-mark in salary at the IPL auctions, surpassing Sam Curran’s INR 18.50 crores payout from the previous year.
Mitchell Starc, Secured by KKR for a Record-breaking INR 24.75 Crores in the IPL
Starc, absent from the IPL for the past eight years, showcased his prowess with 34 wickets in 27 games during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, maintaining an impressive economy of 7.17. Across 121 T20 games, the 33-year-old has accumulated 170 wickets with an economy of 7.45. KKR faced tough competition from Gujarat Titans in securing the player with a proven white-ball pedigree, creating suspense and excitement among the audience at Dubai’s Coca Cola Arena.
Interestingly, Starc had been acquired by the Knight Riders for INR 9.40 crores in the 2018 auction but missed that season due to a leg injury. Subsequently, he was released from his contract the following year amid contractual disputes with Cricket Australia.
Expressing his sentiments, Starc said, “It’s obviously humbling to still, I guess, feel like I’m wanted or needed anyway. So hopefully that experience that I’ve had for a few years now can translate into success in… obviously leading up to the IPL and, hopefully, add some of that to the KKR list.“
Reflecting on his IPL journey, Starc highlighted his involvement with RCB in 2014 and 2015, followed by being picked up in 2018 but missing out due to injury. He emphasized his focus on international and Test cricket, and with a quieter international schedule approaching, he sees the IPL as an excellent opportunity to play competitive T20 cricket, especially with the T20 World Cup on the horizon.
Significant Earnings for the Fast Bowlers as Pat Cummins Lead the Charge
The spotlight of the day was on overseas fast bowlers, with Mitchell Starc leading the way by setting a high bar, surpassing the INR 20.50 crores mark set by Pat Cummins. The Australian captain, in high demand from SRH and RCB, ultimately landed with the 2016 champions, Kolkata Knight Riders.
Despite Cummins’ stellar year with notable victories, his IPL record stands at 45 wickets from 42 games with an economy of 8.54. RCB, missing out on Cummins, redirected their focus and spent INR 11.50 crores on West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph. Meanwhile, Harshal Patel, a former RCB player, secured the highest signing amount among Indian players when Punjab Kings bid INR 11.75 crores.
Gujarat Titans, entering the auction with the most significant purse of INR 38.15 crores, made a late big-money signing by acquiring Australian left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson for INR 10 crores, fending off interest from Delhi Capitals.
Among Indian seamers, Lucknow Super Giants signed Shivam Mavi for INR 6.40 crores, while Umesh Yadav (GT) and Shardul Thakur (CSK) secured deals for INR 5.80 crores and INR 4 crores, respectively.
Mumbai Indians bolstered their fast-bowling squad with more economical signings, including South African talent Gerald Coetzee for INR 5 crores, and Sri Lankan quicks Nuwan Thushara and Dilshan Madushanka for INR 4.8 crores and 4.6 crores, respectively.
The Top 5 Bids Recorded at the Auction
|Price (In Cr)
Opportunities for World Cup Stars in New Assignment
Apart from the focus on fast bowlers, New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell secured a substantial INR 14 crore bid from the defending champions, CSK. CSK also added his compatriot and World Cup standout Rachin Ravindra to their squad at a modest price of INR 1.8 crores. Both Mitchell and Ravindra had impressive performances during the Black Caps’ recent World Cup campaign, with Mitchell scoring two centuries against India, and 23-year-old Ravindra becoming the first New Zealand batter to achieve three World Cup centuries in a single edition.
Travis Head, absent from the IPL since 2017, attracted an INR 6.80 crore bid from SRH following his notable contributions at the World Cup, including a century in the final against India.
Rajasthan Royals, known for their early moves in the auction, allocated over half of their purse to secure Rovman Powell for INR 7.4 crores, reinforcing their lower-middle order. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, the Royals pursued English batting sensation Harry Brook but withdrew from the race, allowing Delhi Capitals to sign him at a reduced price of INR 4 crores, down from the INR 13.25 crores he received from the Sunrisers last year.
Rizvi Takes the Lead in a Flurry of Bids for Uncapped Players
In the latter part of the auction, emerging talent Sameer Rizvi, an uncapped batter from Uttar Pradesh, secured a lucrative deal worth INR 8.4 crores. The five-time champions CSK prevailed over Gujarat Titans, with a late challenge from Delhi Capitals, to secure the services of the 20-year-old.
Rizvi garnered attention earlier in the year at the UP T20 league, leading in both sixes and centuries, including the fastest century in the tournament. His prowess extended to the Under-23 level, where he contributed significantly to his state’s success, scoring two centuries in knockout tournaments and a blazing 50-ball 84 in the final to clinch the title for UP.
Among other uncapped Indian players, Shahrukh Khan found a new home at the Titans for INR 7.4 crores, despite Punjab Kings’ efforts to reacquire the player they had released before the auction.
The auction also witnessed a competitive bidding war for Jharkhand’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Kushagra, who showcased his skills with a stunning 67 off 37 balls in a chase of 355 against Maharashtra in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy. The battle for his services involved CSK, GT, and DC, with Delhi Capitals ultimately securing him for INR 7.2 crores.
Acquisitions Beyond the Highlighted Players
|INR 8 crores
|INR 5.8 crores
|Royal Challengers Bangalore
|INR 5 crores
|INR 5 crores
|INR 4.2 crores
|INR 3.6 crores
|Lucknow Super Giants
|INR 2.4 crores
|Royal Challengers Bangalore
|INR 2 crores
|INR 1.6 crores
|INR 1.5 crores
|INR 50 lakhs
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