On Tuesday, December 19, Mitchell Starc became the most expensive signing in Indian Premier League history after Kolkata Knight Riders paid an incredible INR 24.75 crores for the left-arm bowler during the IPL 2024 auction. The record signing fee for KKR exceeded the INR 20.50 crores Sunrisers Hyderabad had previously spent in the same auction for the services of his countryman Pat Cummins. The fast-bowling duo from Australia easily overcame Sam Curran’s INR 18.50 crore payout from the previous year to become the first two players in the history of the auctions to earn salaries beyond INR 20 crore.
Starc, who hasn’t participated in the IPL in eight years, claimed 34 wickets at an outstanding economy of 7.17 from 27 games in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The 33-year-old has claimed 170 wickets at an economy rate of 7.45 in 121 T20 matches. Amidst gasps and cheers from the crowd gathered at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, KKR was pushed by Gujarat Titans to land this player with a proven white-ball pedigree. When Starc last went up for auction in 2018, the Knight Riders had signed him for INR 9.40 crores. Due to contractual issues with Cricket Australia, he was dismissed from his contract the next year after missing that season due to a leg injury.
Starc said to JioCinema, “It’s humbling to still, I guess, feel like I’m wanted or needed anyway.” “So hopefully that experience that I’ve had for a few years now can translate into success in… leading up to the IPL and, hopefully, add some of that to the KKR list.”Yes, a long time has passed. I played for the RCB in 2014 and 2015, and took up again in 2018, but was injured and missed several games. I then made international cricket my top priority, wanting to make Test cricket my top priority as well as playing as much and as well as I could for Australia. Towards the conclusion of this year and the beginning of next year, the Australian group’s international profile becomes much more subdued. Thus, this is a fantastic opportunity to rejoin the IPL. The T20 World Cup is undoubtedly approaching in the middle of the next year, and it’s an excellent opportunity to play some intensely competitive T20 cricket in the top T20 league available with the elite players we see on all the lists,” he continued.
Large reward for quick bowlers
Foreign quick bowlers were the rage these days, and Starc had to surpass Cummins’ benchmark before he could truly raise the stakes. Before the 2016 winners, with a larger purse, finally got the upper hand, SRH and Royal Challengers Bangalore courted the Australian captain with much anticipation.
In addition to leading Australia to an ODI World Cup victory, the World Test Championship title, and a draw in the Ashes series, Cummins has had an incredible year. Despite this, the 30-year-old’s performance in the IPL is mediocre, with 45 wickets at an economy of 8.54 from 42 games. When Punjab Kings made a winning bid of INR 11.75 crores, again outlasting the Titans, on that day, former player Harshal Patel became the Indian player with the highest signing amount. RCB, who had to redesign their bowling attack after missing out on Cummins, lavished INR 11.50 crores on West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph.
Late in the expedited round, the Titans, who had the largest purse of INR 38.15 crores going into the auction, made their big-money acquisition when they acquired Australian left-arm fast bowler Spencer Johnson for INR 10 crores, fending off Delhi Capitals’ intense interest.
Indian seamers Umesh Yadav (GT) and Shardul Thakur (CSK) secured deals worth INR 5.80 crores and INR 4 crores, respectively, while Shivam Mavi was signed by Lucknow Super Giants for INR 6.40 crores.
The Mumbai Indians also added three fast bowlers, albeit at a lower cost. They signed quicks from Sri Lanka, Nuwan Thushara, and Dilshan Madushanka for INR 4.8 and 4.6 crores respectively, and South African prospect Gerald Coetzee for INR 5 crores.
The five highest bids at the auction
|Price (In Cr)