IPL 2023 Auction: Curran, Stokes, Green set for windfall gains
Intense bidding is expected to be the order of the day when 10 teams jostle to grab their preferred players from a limited pool of cricketers, including the likes of Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Mayank Agarwal, in the mini IPL auction here on Friday.
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The player pool for the auction has been pruned to 405 with a maximum of 87 slots, including 30 overseas, to be filled by the teams.
Former South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris has been the biggest beneficiary of the mini IPL auction till date. In 2021, he became the most expensive player in auction history when Rajasthan Royals shelled out Rs 16.25 crore for his services.
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Morris is now happily retired.
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All-rounder Curran, who was named the Player of the 2022 T20 World Cup, is expected to attract intense bidding and end up with a million dollar deal.
He is only 24 and teams will look at him as a long-term investment. Back in 2019, Punjab Kings made him an IPL millionaire before he moved to Chennai Super Kings who would be looking to buy him back.
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Curran, who missed the 2022 season as he was recovering from a back injury, has set his base price at Rs 2 crore.
The all-rounders have been listed in the second set to come up for bidding. The venue of the auction is not the usual Bengaluru as Kochi gets to host the keenly followed event.
Curran’s English teammates including Test skipper Stokes and Harry Brook are also likely to land fat pay cheques. Stokes is a super star of the game and delivers in the toughest of situations while Brook made a name for himself in the Test format with three centuries against Pakistan after already proving his worth in the shorter-formats.
Stokes has set his base price at ₹2 crore and Brook at ₹1.5 crore.
Australian all-rounder Cameron Green will also be watching the proceedings keenly. He has not looked back in the shortest format after getting the opportunity to open for Australia in India earlier this year.
Many were surprised that he was not picked in the World Cup squad initially but he was eventually drafted in after Josh Inglis got injured.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will be another big name with a base price of ₹2 crore. He was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad alongside West Indian Nicholas Pooran. Williamson’s strike rate in T20s has been questioned but he remains a very good leadership choice in case a franchise is looking for captaincy material.
Pooran, who quit West Indies captaincy after an early exit from the T20 World Cup, has not been in the best of forms of late but is expected to secure a decent deal.
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Former England Test skipper Joe Root has also thrown his hat into the ring.
Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza, who has been among the top T20 players over the past 12 months, can also attract a heavy bid.
Agarwal sought after among Indians
Out of favour India Test opener, Mayank Agarwal will go under the hammer in Set 1 comprising batters. He has kept his base price at ₹1 crore and teams are likely to go after him. Punjab had released him earlier this year and appointed Shikhar Dhawan the captain instead.
A good IPL is crucial for Agarwal as he aims to get back into the India fold. Veteran Ishant Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat are Indian pace bowling options available to the teams. If Ishant doesn’t get a deal, he might not carry on playing for Delhi in domestic cricket.
Among the uncapped Indians who could break the bank include pacers Shivam Mavi and Yash Thakur. Having been released by CSK, Tamil Nadu batter N Jagadeesan should be in demand after smashing a record five straight centuries in List A cricket.