KKR sign Mitchell Starc for an IPL record INR 24.75 crores

The recent World Cup winners both earned bids over INR 20 Crore
The recent World Cup winners both earned bids over INR 20 Crore ©Getty

Mitchell Starc became the most expensive signing in Indian Premier League history on Tuesday (December 19) with Kolkata Knight Riders forking out a staggering INR 24.75 crores for the left-arm pacer at the IPL 2024 auction. KKR's record signing amount surpassed the INR 20.50 crores that Sunrisers Hyderabad paid for the services of his compatriot Pat Cummins earlier in the same auction. The Australian fast-bowling pair became the first two players to breach the INR 20 crore-mark in salary in the history of the auctions, comfortably clearing Sam Curran's INR 18.50 crores payout last year.

Starc, who last played the IPL eight years ago, took 34 wickets from 27 games across the 2014 and 2015 seasons at an excellent economy of 7.17. Over 121 T20 games, the 33-year-old has taken 170 wickets at an economy of 7.45. To land this player with proven white-ball pedigree, KKR were pushed all the way by Gujarat Titans amid gasps and applause from the audience assembled at Dubai's Coca Cola Arena. Incidentally, Starc had been signed by the Knight Riders for INR 9.40 crores the last time he entered the auction in 2018. He missed that season with a leg injury and was subsequently released from his contract the following year amid contractual disputes with Cricket Australia.

"It's obviously humbling to still, I guess, feel like I'm wanted or needed anyway," Starc told JioCinema. "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.

"Yeah, it's been a while. I was obviously involved 2014 and 2015 with RCB and then picked up in 2018, but missed out with injury. And then have really prioritised international cricket and wanted to prioritise Test cricket there as well and playing as much and as well as I could for Australia. And then coming into the back end of this year and, and into next year, is a lot quieter on the international scene for the Australian group. So a great chance to get back involved in the IPL. Obviously there's a T20 World Cup coming up mid next year as well, and a good chance to play some really, really competitive T20 cricket in the best T20 league going round with the world-class players that we see on all the lists," he added.

Big payday for the fast men

Overseas fast bowlers were the flavour of the day and before Starc set the bar really high, he had to leap through the mark set by Cummins. The Australian captain was courted eagerly by SRH and Royal Challengers Bangalore before the 2016 champions, with a bigger purse in tow, got the hammer to fall in their favour.

Cummins has enjoyed a remarkable year in which he's also led Australia to an ODI World Cup win, the World Test Championship crown and a drawn-away Ashes series. The 30-year-old though has a middling record in the IPL, having taken 45 wickets from 42 games at an economy of 8.54.

RCB, who missed out on Cummins and had a major bowling-attack redesign on their hands before the auction, splurged INR 11.50 crores on West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph while their former player Harshal Patel became the Indian player with the highest signing amount on the day when Punjab Kings made a winning bid of INR 11.75 crores, again outlasting the Titans.

The Titans, who walked in to the auction with the biggest purse of INR 38.15 crores, made their big-money signing late in the accelerated round by snapping up Australian left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson for INR 10 crores, staving off keen interest from Delhi Capitals.

Among Indian seamers, Shivam Mavi was snapped up by Lucknow Super Giants for INR 6.40 crores while Umesh Yadav (GT) and Shardul Thakur (CSK) were signed for INR 5.80 crores and INR 4 crores respectively.

Mumbai Indians added a troika of fast bowlers themselves but at more modest price tags. They signed South African upstart Gerald Coetzee for INR 5 crores as well as a pair of Sri Lankan quicks, Nuwan Thushara and Dilshan Madushanka for INR 4.8 and 4.6 crores respectively.

The five highest bids at the auction

Price (In Cr) Player Team
24.75 Mitchell Starc KKR
20.5 Pat Cummins SRH
14 Daryl Mitchell CSK
11.75 Harshal Patel PBKS
11.5 Alzarri Joseph RCB

World Cup stars get gigs

Outside of fast bowlers, New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell was the recipient of an INR 14 crore bid from defending champions CSK, who also added his compatriot and World Cup star Rachin Ravindra to their roster at a modest price of INR 1.8 crores. Both Mitchell and Ravindra had highly productive campaigns in the Black Caps' run to the recent World Cup semifinal in India. Mitchell hit two hundreds against India while 23-year-old Ravindra became the first New Zealand batter to score three World Cup centuries in one edition.

Meanwhile, Travis Head, who last featured in the IPL in 2017, earned himself an INR 6.80 crore bid from SRH following his recent exploits at the World Cup which included a century in the final against india.

Just like last year, Rajasthan Royals made an early splash at the auction, splurging more than half their purse amount to sign Rovman Powell for INR 7.4 crores to bring much-needed heft to their lower-middle order. For a second year, the Royals also pursued English batting sensation Harry Brook but pulled out of the race as Delhi Capitals signed him up for a cut price of INR 4 crores, down from the INR 13.25 crores he'd received from the Sunrisers last year.

 Bought for INR 11.75 crores by PBKS, Harshal Patel bagged the highest price for an Indian player
Bought for INR 11.75 crores by PBKS, Harshal Patel bagged the highest price for an Indian player ©

Rizvi leads uncapped players' splash

In the second-half of the auction, uncapped Uttar Pradesh batter Sameer Rizvi earned himself a gig worth INR 8.4 crores after five-time winners CSK out-lasted Gujarat Titans and a late attempt at a steal from Delhi Capitals to acquire the services of the 20-year-old. Rizvi turned heads earlier this year at the UP T20 league when he hit the most sixes as well as two centuries including the fastest of the tournament. Rizvi sparkled even at the Under-23 level for his state, where he scored two hundreds in knockout tournaments as well as a 50-ball 84 in the final to give UP the title.

Other big earners among uncapped Indian players included Shahrukh Khan, who found a new home at the Titans for INR 7.4 crores despite Punjab Kings' best attempts to get back the player they had released ahead of this auction.

Jharkhand's keeper-bat Kumar Kushagra, who smashed 67 off 37 in a chase of 355 against Maharashtra in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy, sparked a three-way battle between CSK, GT and DC before the Capitals signed him up for INR 7.2 crores

Other notable buys

Rilee Rossouw - Punjab Kings - INR 8 crores

Shubham Dubey - Rajasthan Royals - INR 5.8 crores

Yash Dayal - Royal Challengers Bangalore - INR 5 crores

Jhye Richardson - Delhi Capitals - INR 5 crores

Chris Woakes - Punjab Kings - INR 4.2 crores

Robin Minz - Gujarat Titans - INR 3.6 crores

M. Siddharth - Lucknow Super Giants - INR 2.4 crores

Lockie Ferguson - Royal Challengers Bangalore - INR 2 crores

Jaydev Unadkat - Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 1.6 crores

Wanindu Hasaranga - Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 1.5 crores

Azmatullah Omarzai - Gujarat Titans - INR 50 lakhs



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