DC Edit | IPL auction: Star value at a premium
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
All-rounders were in great demand as IPL teams sought impact players for their squads in the mini-auction. The keepers of record books were kept busy too as old marks tumbled. With pointed auction action aimed to rope in players who could make a difference to teams that have not won the IPL in recent times, the money spent was spectacular.
England players of the "Bazball" era were in greater demand with Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and Harry Brook going for astronomic sums; and the Australian Cameron Green also landed in top money. The son of former Zimbabwean all-rounder Kevin, Sam Curran shattered IPL records as the hammer came down at Rs 18.5 crores, representing a pay rise of Rs 13 crores for Sam who goes from Chennai Super Kings back to where he started with the Punjab kings, a team that has never won the IPL.
Nearly 42 per cent of the total spend was for the most in-demand players, but only Rs 8 crores came to Indian stars while almost Rs 63 cr were spent on foreign all rounders. Inflation and the usual hyperbole that IPL builds around foreigners may have led to such high prices for a select few. This was, however, only a supplementary annual auction and not the periodic mega one when the names of all but the retained stars go into the hat.
Promising young Indian cricketers, except for fast bowler Shivam Mavi who will get Rs 6 crores from Gujarat Titans, might have reason to feel somewhat piqued. While Rs 58 crores was spent on eight England players, 51 Indian players are to get Rs 42 crores, a statistic that brings out the cruel, if unfair, aspect of it.
There may be good cricketing reason for England players being highly rated now because they have won two white ball World Cups since 2019 and are putting in stupendous performances in the Test arena too with nine of 10 Tests won under their transformative Kiwi coach Brendon McCullum. Their brand of fearless cricket is quite the flavour of the season currently.
The defending champions Gujarat Titans were not unduly active at the auction. While keeping faith in their winning combination is not to be questioned as they came like a breath of fresh air to the IPL last season, the shifting dynamics of the T20 game is such that teams must be prepared to sow the wind to reap the whirlwind.