IPL auction: Starc, Cummins breach Rs 20-crore mark

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc became the costliest player in IPL history. File photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

Dubai: Australia's Mitchell Starc became the most expensive player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after attracting an eye-watering Rs 24.75 crore ($2.98 million) bid from Kolkata Knight Riders in the players' auction on Tuesday.

Australian captain Pat Cummins briefly held that honour after Sunrisers Hyderabad agreed to splash Rs 205, crore ($2.46 million) for his service before Starc bettered that mark.

Barely a month after leading Australia to the ICC World Cup title in India, Cummins entered the auction with a base price of Rs 2 crore.

IPL heavyweights Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were initially interested in him but both dropped out as a two-way bidding war ensued.

Royal Challengers Bangalore doggedly pursued Cummins but 2016 champions Hyderabad had the last laugh in the tug-of-war over the fast bowler, who has also evolved as a handy lower-order hitter.

England all-rounder Sam Curran's Rs 18.5 crroe bid from Punjab Kings at last year's auction was the previous highest mark.

Cummins also provides a leadership option at Hyderabad, though head coach Daniel Vettori remain tight-lipped about that prospect.

"There's a lot of cricket left before the IPL," former New Zealand captain Vettori said.

"We'll have to get through that and then we'll make a decision closer to that time."

Back after an eight-year gap, left-arm quick Starc was in demand as soon as his name was put under the hammer with Mumbai and Delhi vying for his service.

Both, however, retreated as bidding intensified and Kolkata trumped Gujarat Titans by offering the winning bid for the 33-year-old.

"You should expect this. Because IPL is growing, salary caps will grow and so will player fees," Kolkata chief executive Venky Mysore said of their aggressive pursuit of Starc.

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell also struck it rich after Chennai splashed Rs 14 crore to acquire the batting all-rounder.

Indian seamer Harshal Patel also became a millionaire joining Punjab Kings for Rs 11.75 crore in the auction, which was held outside India for the first time.

Unsold players included former Australia captain Steve Smith and England spinner Adil Rashid.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.