In the frenzied environs of cricketing in India, fans eagerly wait for the annual IPL bonanza in the summer months. If the matches are exciting, so are the auctions of their favourite players which are followed as eagerly and enthusiastically as the matches themselves.
As the auctions for IPL 2024 took place on December 19, for the first time in the glitter of Dubai at its iconic Coca Cola Arena, and for the first time by a woman wielding the gavel (Mallika Sagar), prices skyrocketed and through the twists and turns of nail-biting anticipations and heartbreaks, shattered all price records with hundreds of players going under the hammer for the high-profile tourney.
Total Rs 230.45 crore were spent for buying 72 players.
Australian pace sensation Mitchell Starc went to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for an unprecedented Rs 24.75 crore, which is an all time record for the highest bidding price for a player in IPL.
Starc, making a comeback to the IPL after an eight-year hiatus, outbid fellow Australian Pat Cummins, who briefly held the new record before being snagged by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for a substantial sum of Rs 20.50 crore.
Power-hitter Rovman Powell went to Rajsthan Royals for Rs 7.40 crore. Powell, initially listed with a base price of Rs 1 crore, found himself in a lucrative agreement after being released by the Delhi Capitals.
In other notable auction moves, England’s Harry Brook, previously bought by SRH for Rs 13.25 crore, was picked up by Delhi Capitals for Rs 4 crore. Australia’s World Cup final hero Travis Head was acquired by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 6.8 crore.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra for Rs 1.8 crore, who impressed as an allrounder in the recently concluded World Cup encounters. Daryl Mitchell also went to CSK for a whopping Rs 14 crore. CSK also added the services of Indian pacer Shardul Thakur for Rs 4 crore.
The Punjab Kings made a valuable acquisition in the form of Harshal Patel, securing his services for a hefty price of Rs 11.75 crore. In an unexpected move, uncapped Indian Sameer Rizvi went to CSK for a substantial amount of Rs 8.40 crore.
After trading Hardik Pandya from Gujarat Titans, Mumbai Indians bought South Africa’s all-rounder Gerald Coetzee for a whopping ₹5 crore. His base price was ₹2 crore.
While most of the top players found place in the teams, there were also several big names who went unsold, which include the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Steve Smith, Josh Inglis, Adil Rashid, Sean Abbott and Jason Holder among others.
The IPL 2024 auction was a gripping event of intense bidding wars, unexpected twists, and record-breaking deals, setting the stage for an exciting season ahead.