Sam Curran becomes costliest buy at IPL auction, fetches Rs 18.5 crore bid from Punjab Kings

Kochi, Dec 23 (PTI) England all-rounder Sam Curran on Friday became the most expensive player in the history of IPL auctions after fetching a whopping Rs 18.5 crore bid from Punjab Kings here.

An intense bidding followed for Curran with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants and Punjab Kings raising their paddles frenetically to secure the services of T20 World Cup player-of-the tournament.

In the end, it was Punjab Kings that broke the bank to get Curran, who drew highest-ever bid that bettered the previous best buy of Rs 16.25 crore that Rajasthan Royals had shelled out to grab South African all-rounder Chris Morris in 2021.

“I didn’t sleep much last night, was a bit excited, also nervous about how the auction was going to go. But yeah, absolutely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled that I managed to get what I did. I never had any expectations to receive that,” Curran said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Live – Auction Special’.

Curran is going back to the franchise where he started his IPL journey. Back in 2019, then Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) made him an IPL millionaire before he moved to Chennai Super Kings.

“Obviously, going back to where it all started for me in the IPL with Punjab, where I did my debut season four years ago. So, to be going back there seems fantastic and I am looking forward to joining a few English team mates as well,” the 24-year-old all-rounder said.

“It will be very different, but like I said, I know the stadium. I know Mohali pretty well, so that obviously is a little bit of an advantage, having some familiar team mates who’ll help me. I feel confident going into this tournament, where I’ve come off a fantastic World Cup.

“It’s amazing, I’m just incredibly excited it’s just a few months away till I will be coming to India. A massively big opportunity…There are so many things running through my mind and yeah it’s absolutely incredible, very overwhelmed.” Australia all-rounder Cameroon Green was second-highest earner, fetching Rs 17.5 crore bid from Mumbai Indians.

“I am pinching myself that this has all happened. It’s such a weird feeling watching an auction for yourself. I can’t believe how nervous I was and I was shaking like anything when the final call was confirmed,” Green “I’ve always been a huge fan of the IPL and it’s going to be so cool to be a part of it. The Mumbai Indians are one of the powerhouses of the competition so I feel very humbled to be joining them. I can’t wait to get there next year.” England Test skipper Ben Stokes was the third-highest gainer, fetching Rs 16.25 crore from CSK who pipped Kolkata Knight Riders in another intense bidding war.

England players were in demand as batter Harry Brook earned a Rs 13.25 crore winning from Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Brook, who struck three hundreds in as many games and set new record for most runs by an England batter in a Test series in Pakistan, started at a base price of Rs 1.5 crore.

The bidding for Brook was mainly between SRH and Rajasthan Royals.

India international Mayank Agarwal was also bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 8.25 crore. His base price was set at Rs 1 crore.

New Zealand stalwart Kane Williamson was sold at his base price at Rs 2 crore to Gujarat Titans.

Out-of-favour India batter Ajinkya Rahane was sold at his base price of Rs 50 lakh to Chennai Supper Kings, the only bidder for the player.

South Africa batter Rilee Rossouw and Bangladesh al-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan went unsold.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 5.75 crore.

Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch was not surprised by the big bucks attracted by Curran, Stokes and Green, saying all three are world-class rounders who can add value to their respective sides.

“Oh, absolutely, I think Chennai have a history of going after experienced players, knowing what they want. And when you complement that with the rest of the squad, it is so balanced when you throw that world class all-rounder in there,” Finch said “I think the only separation between Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and Cameron Green is Curran’s ability to bowl in the last five overs. His record has been unbelievable. So, that probably gives him the nod if you’re going down the road of a bowling all-rounder.

“But Ben Stokes, he structures out any side tremendously well because he can bat in the top four, he can bat in the top six, and you can almost bank on him to bowl four overs as well. So, that’s a huge asset and I’m not surprised that all three of those guys have been paid what they have been paid there,” he added.

West Indies great Brian Lara, who is the head coach of SRH, said they went for Brook, keeping in mind finisher’s role.

“With the absence of Pooran, we were looking at someone who could finish the game for us. Harry Brook’s exploits around the world has shown that he has the capability of doing it. It will take time for him to get into the groove but the expectation is pretty high and I believe that’s he’s a great choice,” Lara said.

“First of all, he’s played in Asian conditions. He just played Tests in Pakistan, he played in the Pakistan Super League. Those kind of experiences will serve him well in a place like India. I think he has that advantage.

“He also comes from a very strong and confident environment, playing Test cricket under Brendon McCullum and winning the World Cup (T20). We have somebody who is growing accustomed to winning and that’s also a big asset.”

Source: PTI News


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