IPL auction 2024 – Mumbai Indians, CSK, RCB, Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Titans, SRH, KKR, Royals, Super Giants, PBKS

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc has shattered the record for the most expensive player at an IPL auction after being bought by Kolkata Knight riders for INR 24.75 crore (US$2,982,000 approx.). He surpassed the winning bid of INR 20.50 crore (US$2,470,000 approx.) that Sunrisers Hyderabad had made for Pat Cummins, Australia’s ODI World Cup winning captain, less than two hours earlier at the IPL 2024 auction in Dubai.

Starc came up for bidding in the first set for fast bowlers – the fourth set of the day – and the battle for him began between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. However, it was swiftly taken over by Gujarat Titans and KKR, the only franchises with more than INR 30 crore left in their purse at that point, and KKR won the final bid.

The last time Starc featured in an IPL auction was in 2018 when KKR had signed him for INR 9.4 crore. He didn’t play that season, though, because of injury; he hasn’t played the IPL since 2015, in fact.

“I’ve probably prioritised international cricket firstly for a long time whilst having a bit of a taste of IPL and Big Bash in Australia,” Starc said after his bid. “I’ve always held firm that I’ve wanted to play my best cricket for Australia and make myself available for Australia where I can. At the same time, the temptation to go back to IPL and how exciting it is to be involved in such a great tournament, big names, big players, big stages -it’s too hard to pass up. There’s a place to play all of it. It’s just being mindful and putting the work ethic into being able to do all of it.”

Before Starc’s record bid, Sunrisers had spent INR 20.50 crore (US$2,470,000 approx.) to sign Cummins, staving off competition from Royal Challengers Bangalore to get their man. Cummins’ price had surpassed the record of INR 18.50 crore that Punjab Kings had paid for England allrounder Sam Curran at the 2023 IPL auction. Cummins had skipped the 2023 IPL to focus on international cricket; his previous highest auction price was INR 15.50 crore, when KKR had signed him in 2020.

“Pumped to be joining SRH for the upcoming IPL season,” Cummins said after he was sold. “I’ve heard a lot about the Orange Army, I’ve played at Hyderabad a few times and always loved it, so can’t wait to get started. Great to see another Aussie in Trav Head over there as well. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun this season, and hopefully plenty of success.”

Sunrisers head coach Daniel Vettori said they were able to spend that much on Cummins because they already had most bases covered. “Someone else desperately wanted him as well, that’s why he got pushed to that high number,” Vettori said. “Because our team is relatively settled and we have the budget, and we have already picked up Travis Head and [Wanindu] Hasaranga, we felt like we’d covered most things that we wanted at the auction, so we had the ability to spend that much.”

ODI World Cup performers get big paydays

Mitchell was fiercely fought for by Capitals, Punjab and Chennai Super Kings, and was finally bought for INR 14 crore by CSK after entering the auction at a base price of INR 1 crore. Ravindra was also bought by CSK for INR 1.8 crore.

CSK had also wanted to buy Head, the Player of the Match in the ODI World Cup semi-final and final, but lost him to Sunrisers, who signed him for INR 6.8 crore.

Both Coetzee (INR 5 crore) and Madushanka (INR 4.6 crore) were signed by Mumbai Indians for a total of INR 9.6 crore – these were their first two buys at the auction.

Afghanistan allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai also found a home at Titans, alongside his countrymen Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad.

Uncapped Indians earn big bucks

Dubey went first, with Capitals going after him with intent, but he eventually got sold to Royals for INR 5.8 crore. Rizvi’s name came up not long after, and if Dubey’s fee was the highest paid for an uncapped batter with no IPL experience, topping the INR 5.25 Punjab paid for Shahrukh Khan in 2021, the record didn’t last long – Rizvi earned INR 8.40 crore after CSK beat off Titans and Capitals for his services.

Kushagra, for a while, threatened to top Rizvi’s bid, but Capitals got him for INR 7.20 crore after fighting off competition from CSK and Titans. A scrap for Shahrukh was expected, and there was one between Punjab – who had released him prior to the auction – and Titans. His price soared until it stopped at INR 7.40 crore, with Titans getting the big-hitting middle-order batter.

Titans also tried to buy back left-arm quick Yash Dayal, who eventually went to RCB for INR 5 crore. Titans, however, picked up another left-arm quick Sushant Mishra for INR 2.2 crore, while left-arm M Siddharth went to LSG for INR 2.4 crore.

One of the biggest surprises came late in the auction when the uncapped 21-year old Robin Minz, a wicketkeeper from Jharkhand with a base price of INR 20 lakh, was up for bidding. Four teams wanted him, first CSK and MI, and then SRH, before he was eventually sold for INR 3.6 crore to the Titans. An aggressive batter from Gumla, Minz has not played any domestic T20 cricket. One of his three coaches is Chanchal Bhattacharya, who also coached MS Dhoni. Minz idolises Dhoni and was selected for a Mumbai Indians camp earlier this year.

The surprise big buys

The 2024 auction had begun with a surprise, when West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell was signed for INR 7.4 crore by Rajasthan Royals, who spent more than half their auction purse on one player. Powell’s previous auction price was INR 2.8 crore, which Capitals paid for him in the 2022 auction.

West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was also hotly fought for by CSK, Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants and RCB. He had been released by Titans, who had paid INR 2.4 crore for him in the 2022 auction, and was signed for INR 11.50 crore by RCB, who needed an overseas fast bowler after having released Josh Hazlewood, Wayne Parnell and David Willey.

Australian left-arm quick Spencer Johnson, who plays for Brisbane Heat in the BBL, was another big surprise buy during the accelerated round towards the end of the auction. Having entered the auction at a base price of INR 50 lakh, Johnson’s price skyrocketed as Capitals and Titans bid for him. He eventually went for INR 10 crore to Titans, who needed an overseas fast bowler as back-up for Josh Little. Having lost Johnson to Titans, the Capitals picked up Australian quick Jhye Richardson shortly after for INR 5 crore.

After picking up overseas quicks Coetzee and Madhushanka, Mumbai bought a third overseas fast bowler in 29-year old Sri Lankan Nuwan Thushara, who has played five T20 internationals. KKR and RCB began the bidding for him, but MI eventually won the bid at INR 4.8 crore.

South African batter Rilee Rossouw had gone unsold when he came up for bidding in the early part of the auction but he was in big demand during the accelerated round at the end of the day. Capitals had bought Rossouw for INR 4.6 crore at the 2023 auction and then released him, but they entered the bidding for him once again and took the price up towards INR 8 crore, at which point they lost him to Punjab.

How did the capped Indian players fare?

The most expensive Indian player at the 2024 IPL auction was fast bowler Harshal Patel. The bidding for him began between Titans and Punjab, and then between Punjab and LSG, before he was finally sold to Punjab for INR 11.75 crore.

Allrounder Shardul Thakur (INR 4 crore) will return for his second stint at CSK, who signed him for INR 4 crore. The last time Thakur had been sold at the auction, he had gone for INR 10.75 crore to Capitals in 2022.

Fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Shivam Mavi were also in high demand. SRH and Capitals tried to sign Umesh but Titans eventually did so for INR 5.8 crore. Mavi became LSG’s first buy at the 2024 auction, when they outbid RCB by spending nearly half their remaining purse to sign him for INR 6.4 crore.

Jaydev Unadkat, who once commanded a bid of INR 11.4 crore in the 2018 auction, was sold for INR 1.6 crore to Sunrisers.

The steal deals

Sunrisers picked up Sri Lanka legspinning allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga at his base price of INR 1.5 crore as a like-for-like replacement for Adil Rashid, whom they had released. The last time Hasaranga had been sold at the 2022 auction, RCB had paid INR 10.75 crore for him.

Capitals managed to sign England batter Harry Brook for INR 4 crore; Brook had been signed by Sunrisers for INR 13.25 crore last year and subsequently released after an unremarkable maiden IPL season.


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