IPL 2023 Mini Auction: Sam Curran becomes costliest buy, fetches Rs 18.5 crore bid from Punjab Kings

Englands left-arm fast-bowling all-rounder Sam Curran on Friday became the most expensive signing in history of Indian Premier League (IPL)

Representative image
Representative image

NH Digital

Englands left-arm fast-bowling all-rounder Sam Curran on Friday became the most expensive signing in history of Indian Premier League (IPL) with Punjab Kings shelling out a whopping INR 18.50 crores at the IPL 2023 mini player auction.

Curran's signing amount surpassed the INR 16.25 crores that Rajasthan Royals paid for all-rounder Chris Morris at the 2021 player auction. At Punjab, he will now join his England compatriots Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone.

An intense bidding followed for Curran with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants and Punjab Kings raising their paddles frenetically to secure the services of T20 World Cup player-of-the tournament.

Australia all-rounder Cameroon Green was second-highest earner, fetching Rs 17.5 crore bid from Mumbai Indians.

England Test skipper Ben Stokes, who played with MS Dhoni at now-defunct Rising Pune Super Giants in 2017, will join the former India skipper in Chennai Super Kings with a signing amount of INR 16.25 crores, the joint-third most expensive player in the ongoing auction.

"These three are private jet category players," chuckled former West Indies left-handed batter Chris Gayle, who was not surprised with Curran getting the highest bid in the auction considering the high demand for premium fast-bowling all-rounders.

West Indies wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran got 16 crores with Lucknow Super Giants' first buy of the day that got countryman and JioCinema expert Gayle in a playful mood. "Nikki P, the money that I lend you, can I get it back please," joked Gayle, who had critical stints with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings in the IPL.

England batter Harry Brook was bought for INR 13.25 crores by Sunrisers Hyderabad after an intense bidding war with Rajasthan Royals, who did not have enough in their purse to continue bidding. Brooks amassed 468 runs at an average and strike rate of 93 in the Test series against Pakistan that England won 3-0, and was awarded Player of the Series.

In 17 T20I innings since his England debut earlier this year, Brook has averaged 26.57 at a strike rate of 137.77 and was a part of England's T20 World Cup winning team in Australia. Joining Brook in Hyderabad is India opener Mayank Agarwal, who was Punjab Kings' skipper in IPL 2022.

"Harry Brook broke the bank early! That's a lot of money, it's a good buy. He's a good player as well. I am happy for Mayank as well. So, Sunrisers are really tucking it up in the batting department," added Gayle.

Former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris felt Agarwal, with a pay check of INR 8.25 crores to Hyderabad, was the better buy between the two players after he successfully predicted that SRH will go for Agarwal in the mock auction on Friday. "Indian players are worth more than overseas because you need seven versus the four overseas. So, I think it's a great buy - Mayank Agarwal."

Anil Kumble, ex Punjab Kings head coach, was impressed with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings going all the way for Green and Stokes respectively.

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