Australian cricket player Mitchell Starc has become the most expensive signing in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The left-arm pacer was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for $2.98m on Tuesday at the IPL auction, topping the previous record set by his teammate Pat Cummins just a few hours earlier. Cummins was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for $2.46m.
Before this year’s auction, the record signing was England’s Sam Curran, who joined Punjab Kings for $2.23m in 2020. Cummins, who led Australia to the 50-overs World Cup title in India just a month ago, entered the auction with a base price of 20 million Indian rupees ($240,458).
Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were initially interested in Cummins but both dropped out as a two-way bidding war ensued. Royal Challengers Bangalore also pursued him, but it was Hyderabad who eventually secured the fast bowler’s services.
Cummins is a valuable addition to Hyderabad, not only for his bowling skills but also for his ability as a lower-order hitter. He also provides a leadership option for the team, though head coach Daniel Vettori remained tight-lipped about that prospect.
Starc, who last played in the IPL eight years ago, has now broken the record for the most expensive signing. The 31-year-old was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad in 2018, but he pulled out of the tournament due to injury. This year, he will return to the competition as one of the most high-profile players, and the Kolkata Knight Riders will be hoping that his presence will help them improve on their fifth-place finish in 2020.
The IPL is one of the most popular cricket leagues in the world, and the auction is always an exciting event for fans. With a total of 292 players going under the hammer this year, there were plenty of surprises and big-money deals. However, it was Starc who stole the show with his record-breaking signing.