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Mitchell Starc signs for world record price at IPL auction as Harry Brook joins Delhi Capitals

Australia’s World Cup-winning left-armer becomes the most expensive cricketer in the world

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 20 December 2023 06:50 GMT
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(Getty Images)

Australia captain Pat Cummins became the most expensive cricketer in history when he was signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League for £1.945m. But his record did not last more than a few hours when Mitchell Starc claimed the title when he joined Kolkata Knight Riders for £2.35m.

Starc was expected to be a prized signing as he prepares to make his return to the tournament following an eight-year break, and with fast bowlers clearly highly sought after by the bidders, a number of teams were involved, but KKR decided the left-armer was worth more than a quarter of their budget when they broke the £2m barrier.

Cummins as Australia captain led his side to victory against India in November and looks to have left his mark on those who were involved in a lengthy bidding battle to sign the fast-bowler’s signature in the IPL mini auction for the 2024 tournament.

Cummins will join up with fellow Australian at Sunrisers in Travis Head, who stunned India in the World Cup final and was unsurprisingly signed for just under £650,000.

The Australian captain became the first millionaire of the draw, and claimed the title from Sam Curran as the most expensive ever. The England allrounder went for £1.75m in the auction ahead of the 2023 competition.

Pat Cummins’ status as the world’s most expensive cricketer only lasted a few hours before Starc’s name came up (Getty Images)

England’s Harry Brook was signed by the Delhi Capitals for £380,000, a significant drop compared to the £1.35m he was snatched up for in the previous auction.

Some may be surprised that he was picked up at all, although his explosive 31 from seven deliveries for England against the West Indies at the weekend will have aided his prospects.

Last year for the Sunrisers, Brook hit a century with 100 not out off 55 deliveries, but in his 11 matches he averaged just 21.11 runs and he also had, as did much of the England team, a poor World Cup.

Chris Woakes had the same base price as Brook, and there was interest from Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, but he was snatched up by the former for £400,000.

Steve Smith went unsold in the first round of bidding, as did England’s Phil Salt, who starred along with Brook during the victory in the West Indies.

Smith last played in the IPL back in 2021, when he had a high score of just 39, so may yet go unsold in the later rounds.

West Indies batter Rovman Powell was the first player to be auctioned, joining the Rajasthan Royals.

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