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Updated December 20th, 2023 at 02:13 IST

Starc leaves captain Cummins behind to become most expensive buy in IPL history

Starc's payout was significantly more than Sam Curran got last year when Punjab Kings paid a then record Rs 18.50 crore for the England all-rounder.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins go for big money at IPL 2024 Auction | Image:AP
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Mitchell Starc surpassed his Australian bowling partner Pat Cummins to become the most expensive buy in IPL history with an eye popping bid of Rs 24.75 crore as pacers raked in the big moolah at the auction here on Tuesday. Not long after Cummins fetched an unprecedented pay packet of Rs 20.50 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad, Starc raised the bar when Kolkata Knight Riders made a multi million dollar bid for the left-arm pacer, who last played in the IPL in 2015.

Starc's payout was significantly more than Sam Curran got last year when Punjab Kings paid a then record Rs 18.50 crore for the England all-rounder.

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Such are the unpredictable ways of IPL that one third of the formidable Australian pace trio, Josh Hazlewood, went unsold in the first round of auction from a base price of Rs 2 crore.

Gujarat Titans and KKR were involved in a long and exhilarating bidding battle for Starc before the latter lapped him up for a record deal.

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Starc, 33, has usually prioritised international duty over IPL but decided to enter the auction with one eye on the T20 World Cup that follows the IPL.

He has played only two seasons of the IPL, taking 34 wickets in 27 games at an average of 20.38.

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In contrast, Cummins has been a regular at the IPL but skipped the 2023 edition to focus on the Ashes and the ODI World Cup.

An intense bidding war followed for Cummins with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad raising their paddles frenetically to secure the services of the fast bowling all-rounder.

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In the end, it was SRH who broke the bank for Cummins.

It was not the first time that Cummins attracted huge sums at the IPL auction. Ahead of the 2020 edition, KKR had paid Rs 15.5 crore for his services.

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Starc, however, was shocked after making history on Tuesday.

"It was a shock, of course. My wife Alyssa (Healy) is with the women's team in India so she was getting updates quicker than what I was seeing on screen. Surprised but thrilled," Starc told the host broadcaster.

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On staying away from the IPL, he added: "Been a while, yes. I've been involved with RCB in 2014-15, then picked up by KKR in 2018 but got injured. But I've been prioritising international cricket and Test cricket for Australia.

"Coming into the back end of this year and next year, it's much quieter for Australia as a group so excited to be involved." Among the fast bowlers, the others who broke the bank were Harshal Patel (Rs 11.75 crore to Punjab Kings), Alzarri Joseph (Rs 11.50 crore to RCB), Umesh Yadav ( Rs 5.80 crore to Gujrat Titans) and Shivam Mavi (Rs 6.40 crore to LSG).

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Harshal, who was released by RCB ahead of the auction, remains a sought after player with Punjab Kings going the distance for the out-of-favour India pacer.

In the batters category, Daryl Mitchell had a massive payday with Chennai Super Kings spending Rs 14 crore for the New Zealand batter.

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SRH grabbed World Cup final hero Travis Head for Rs 6.80 crore.

Head, who scored a match-winning century in the ODI World Cup final against India and also starred in the World Test Championship final against the Rohit Sharma-led team earlier this year, saw reigning champions Chennai Super Kings and SRH indulge in a bidding war.

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The wicketkeeper batter finally went to 2016 champions SRH.

New Zealand batter Rachin Ravindra, with a base price of Rs 50 lakh, was snapped by CSK for a modest Rs 1.8 crore. Ravindra was another star of the recently held ODI World Cup in India.

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West Indies T20 skipper Rovman Powell emerged as the costliest player among capped batters, going to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 7.40 crore.

Powell, who had a base price of Rs 2 crore, was the first player to go under the hammer at the mini auction and as many as three teams showed keen interest to rope him in for the 2024 season.

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Eventually, Rajasthan Royals got their hands on the big hitter, who also captains their team Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The trio of former Australia skipper Steve Smith, India's Manish Pandey and Rilee Rossouw went unsold, while England's Harry Brook was snapped by Delhi Capitals for Rs 4 crore.

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Young South Africa pacer Gerald Coetzee attracted a winning bid of Rs 5 crore from Mumbai Indians while India pacer Shardul Thakur returned to CSK for Rs 4 crore.

Uncapped Sameer Rizvi gets life-changing deal 

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The auction often rewards the uncapped Indian cricketers with life changing contracts and it was no different on Tuesday.

Sameer Rizvi, the 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh, was recruited by Chennai Super Kings for as much as Rs 8.40 crore.

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He is known for his six hitting abilities on the domestic circuit. His performances in the UP T20 league and U-23 went a long way in getting him a coveted contract at CSK.

Another hard hitting batter, Kumar Kushagra, went for big money as Delhi Capitals spent Rs 7.20 crore for the 20-year-old. 

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Published December 20th, 2023 at 02:12 IST

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