Record-Breaking IPL Auction: Australian Pacers Starc and Cummins Top Price Charts

In a stunning turn of events at the IPL 2024 Auction in Dubai, Australian pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins smashed previous records with jaw-dropping bids of Rs. 24.75 crore (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Rs. 20.50 crore (Sunrisers Hyderabad), respectively. The Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai witnessed these historic highs, leaving many in awe, including Kumar Sangakkara, the Rajasthan Royals director of cricket and head coach.

Sangakkara admitted, “We knew it would get breached but not by us.” Mini auctions, known for surprises, lived up to their reputation, especially with a high purse and low supply of players. The buzzword of the day was “pace bowling,” evident in the lucrative signings that dominated the auction.

A total of 72 players were bought, and pacers stole the limelight, with five securing Rs. 10 crore or more, five crossing the Rs. 5 crore mark, and an impressive 14 breaking the Rs. 4 crore barrier. The emphasis on pace may be linked to the potential introduction of two bouncers per over in IPL 2024.

Explaining the rationale behind Sunrisers Hyderabad’s substantial investment in Cummins, Daniel Vettori, the team’s head coach, highlighted the target on fast bowlers. He said, “Pat’s been bowling so well lately. He obviously brings in an element of batting as well, and like in all these options, someone else desperately wants them as well.”

KKR’s managing director cum CEO, Venky Mysore, revealed that missing out on certain bids worked in their favor, providing the financial flexibility to secure Starc. He said, “Initially we were not successful in some of the bids. Maybe that worked in our favor because we did end up having money to do this.”

As the post-auction trading window narrows, attention shifts from cricketers’ market values to their on-field contributions. The IPL 2024 Auction showcased the unprecedented value placed on pace, setting the stage for an exciting season ahead.