Battle for the Best: IPL 2024 Auction Featuring Top Teams Mumbai Indians, CSK, RCB, Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Titans, SRH, KKR, Royals, Super Giants, and PBKS

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Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has shattered the record for the most expensive player ever sold an IPL auction after being bought by Kolkata Knight riders for INR 24.75 crore (US$2,982,000 approx.). He surpassed the winning INR 20.50 crore bid (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 of fast bowlers – the fourth set of the day – and the battle for him began between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. However, the race was swiftly taken over by Gujarat Titans and KKR, the only franchises with more than INR 30 crore 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 bought him for INR 9.4 crore. He didn’t play that season, though, because of injury; he hasn’t played the IPL since the 2015 season, in fact. Before Starc’s record bid, Sunrisers had spent INR 20.50 crore (US$2,470,000 approx.) to buy 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 to buy English allrounder Sam Curran at the 2023 IPL auction. Cummins had skipped the 2023 IPL to focus on international cricket; his previous auction price was INR 15.50 crore, when KKR had bought 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 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 bought him for INR 6.8 crore. Both Coetzee (INR 5 crore) and Madushanka (INR 4.6 crore) were bought 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.

The surprise big buys

The 2024 auction began with a surprise, when West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell was bought 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 Indian fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was also hotly fought for between 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 bought for INR 11.50 crore by RCB, who needed an overseas fast bowler after having released Josh Hazlewood, Wayne Parnell and David Willey.

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