Sports, Cricket

Cummins goes for all-time IPL auction record

Published : 19 Dec 2023 09:10 PM

Pat Cummins, Australia's ODI World Cup-winning captain, has become the most expensive player ever sold at an IPL auction, bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 20.50 crore (US$2,470,000 approx). The previous record bid was Punjab Kings' INR 18.50 crore for England allrounder Sam Curran at the 2023 auction.

Cummins had entered the auction with a base price of INR 2 crore, and the bidding for him began between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. As the bid amount rose, CSK competed with Royal Challengers Bangalore before the final battle for Cummins was fought between RCB and SRH. Cummins had skipped the 2023 IPL to focus on international cricket; his previous auction price was INR 15.50 crore, when Kolkata Knight Riders bought him in 2020.

New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell and West Indies T20I captain Rovman Powell were the other big surprises in the early exchanges of the IPL 2024 auction. Powell was the first player bought on the day, for INR 7.4 crore by Rajasthan Royals, who spent more than half their remaining purse on one player. Mitchell was fiercely fought for by Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings, and was finally bought for INR 14 crore by CSK.

CSK also bought young New Zealand allrounder Rachin Ravindra (INR 1.8 crore) and Indian allrounder Shardul Thakur (INR 4 crore), who will be returning for his second stint in yellow. The last time Thakur had been sold at the auction, he had gone for INR 10.75 crore to Delhi Capitals in 2022.

After picking up Powell early on, Royals were also involved in another bidding battle for England batter Harry Brook, who was eventually bought by Delhi Capitals for INR 4 crore. Brook had been bought for INR 13.25 crore in the 2023 auction by Sunrisers, who released him ahead of this auction.

Sunrisers replaced Brook by going after Australian batter Travis Head, the Player of the Match in the ODI World Cup semi-final and final, whom they bought for INR 6.8 crore after competitive bidding from CSK.

The most expensive Indian player so far at the 2024 IPL auction was fast bowler Harshal Patel. The bidding for him began between Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings, and then between Punjab and Lucknow Super Giants, before he was finally sold to Punjab for INR 11.75 crore. Punjab later picked up Chris Woakes for INR 4.2 crore too.

Apart from the big buys, there were several bargains too. Sunrisers picked up Sri Lankan leg-spinning arounder Wanindu Hasaranga at his base price of INR 1.5 crore as a like-for-like replacement for Adil Rashid, whom they had released. Afghanistan seam-bowling allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai, who had an impressive ODI World Cup, joins two of his countrymen Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad at Gujarat Titans at his base price of INR 50 lakh.

Mumbai's only purchase in the first two sets of the day was pace allrounder Gerald Coetzee, who was South Africa's highest wicket-taker at the ODI World Cup. They beat off competition from CSK and LSG to buy Coetzee for INR 5 crore. 

The only teams to not buy a player so far are KKR, who have 12 slots to fill, LSG and RCB.

Australian batter Steven Smith and South African batter Rilee Rossouw, who had listed their base prices at INR 2 crore, and Indian batters Manish Pandey and Karun Nair, were unsold in the first set of capped batters.