Grand IPL return for Starc; Pat ‘Heads’ to SRH

Mitchell, Harshal, Joseph Join List of Millionaires At IPL Mini Auction

Grand IPL return for Starc; Pat ‘Heads’ to SRH

IPL Logo (Photo: Twitter)

The IPL mini auction may not be a grand spectacle of the two-day behemoth that the mega auction is but it is nothing less as the Rs 20-crore mark was breached for the first time in the tournament’s history with two Australians – Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins – dashing past it amidst fierce bidding by several franchises.

Moments after Australia’s World Cup-winning captain Cummins was acquired by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 20.50 crore, Starc marked a grand return to IPL after eight years, before narrowly falling shy of the Rs 25-crore mark as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) snapped up the left-arm quick for a gobsmacking Rs 24.75 crore.

New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell was the third most-expensive buy of the day, going for a jaw-dropping Rs 14 crore to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) immediately after Punjab Kings splurged Rs 11.75 crore to acquire the services of pacer Harshal Patel. Later in the day, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) forked out Rs 11.5 crore for buying West Indian pacer Alzarri Joseph. Umesh Yadav was picked by the Gujarat Titans for Rs 5.8 crore and Chris Woakes found an IPL home at Punjab Kings for Rs 4.2 crore.


Among the uncapped players, Sameer Rizvi, who entered the auction with a base price of Rs 20 lakh, emerged the most expensive buy with CSK splurging Rs 8.40 crore to buy the 20-year-old Uttar Pradesh batter.

Starc, who last featured in an IPL auction in 2018 when KKR had bought him for Rs 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. This marks his second stint with the two-time IPL champions after he had represented them back in 2015.

The left-armer was always expected to break the bank and given the madness that transpired inside Dubai’s Coca-Cola arena, it was little surprise that Mumbai Indians didn’t waste a second to target him at his base price of Rs 2 crore, after which Delhi Capitals joined the race, turning it into a Delhi vs Mumbai bidding war, before DC withdrew when the mark reached Rs 9.4 crore.

With Gujarat Titans joining the race, MI opted out once the price swelled to Rs 9.6 crore before KKR joined the race and went on a splurging spree to eventually buy Starc, and was left with approximately Rs 6 crore in their purse from the initial Rs 32.7 crore when they entered the auction. KKR earlier bought KS Bharat and Chetan Sakariya for Rs 50 lakh each.

Explaining his view on the record buy, KKR CEO Venky Mysore, “Each team tries to slice it differently, in our case we wanted this way. I think our view is, when the auction is over, all the 10 teams are going to walk out of the auction having spent Rs 100 crore and each team decides to slice it differently. So what you’ve paid to somebody up down what not is a matter of perspective. Ultimately, we’re all spending the same amount of money.”

Meanwhile, Cummins, who had an unmatched 2023, having led Australia to the World Test Championship title followed by the World Cup triumph, and came with a base price of Rs 2 crore, was chased by as many as four franchises, before eventually being bought by Hyderabad for the whopping sum.

SRH looked pretty satisfied with the deal, as they were looking for a player with leadership quality in the bowling department that had been left wanting in the last two seasons. With his experience, Cummins’ addition could strengthen the leadership group that boasts of Aiden Markram, Mayank Agarwal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar in their ranks.

Cummins will join his Australia teammate and one of the best international batters in recent times – Travis Head at the SRH dug out. Head was bought for Rs 6.8 crore earlier in the day.

Reacting to his historic deal, Cummins said, “Pumped to be joining SRH for the upcoming season. I have heard a lot about the Orange Army. I’ve played in 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 are going to have a lot of fun this season and hopefully plenty of success.”