IPL 2024 Mega Auction Unleashes Record-breaking Deals and Exciting Twists
The IPL Auction 2024, held in Dubai, kicked off with a bang, leaving fans on the edge of their seats as marquee players fetched eye-watering prices. Mitchell Starc emerged as the crown jewel of the auction, shattering the record for the most expensive player in IPL history. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured Starc‘s services for a staggering ₹24.75 crore, surpassing the previous record set just moments earlier by Pat Cummins.
Cummins, the Australian captain, had a stellar year, and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) didn’t hesitate to break the bank, acquiring him for ₹20.50 crore. The fast-paced bidding wars didn’t stop there, with franchises competing fiercely for top talents. Daryl Mitchell found himself in the midst of an intense bidding war, eventually landing in the Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) camp for ₹14 crore.
Harshal Patel became a hot commodity, securing a spot with Punjab Kings (PBKS) for ₹11.75 crore, while Alzarri Joseph joined Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for ₹11.50 crore. Travis Head, Australia’s World Cup final hero, was snapped up by SRH for ₹6.80 crore, adding to the team’s firepower.
In a surprising twist, the return of Rishabh Pant to the Delhi Capitals’ table added strategic depth to the auction dynamics. Pant, known for his astute decision-making, aimed to build a formidable squad for the upcoming season.
The franchises entered the auction with substantial purses, and the Gujarat Titans led the pack with an impressive ₹38.15 crore. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Chennai Super Kings also had substantial amounts, each with over ₹30 crore to splurge. Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Punjab Kings had sizeable funds at ₹28.95 crore, ₹23.25 crore, and ₹29.1 crore, respectively. Mumbai Indians, Lucknow Super Giants, and Rajasthan Royals had more modest budgets compared to their competitors.
Mallika Sagar made history as the first female auctioneer in the IPL’s 16-year-long history, taking over from Hugh Edmeades. With a total of 77 slots available for the franchises to fill, the auction featured 213 Indian and 116 foreign players divided into 19 sets based on their skills.
Despite the absence of notable players like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Shakib Al Hasan, and Joe Root, the grandeur of the event remained unscathed. The auction set the stage for the highly anticipated IPL 2024 season, featuring exciting developments such as Hardik Pandya captaining the Mumbai Indians for the first time, coinciding with MS Dhoni’s swansong.
As fans eagerly await the official start date, rumored to be March 22, the IPL 2024 promises to be a spectacle with the return of young India captains Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, along with Gautam Gambhir’s homecoming to KKR as their mentor. The auction, a precursor to the thrilling season ahead, poses intriguing questions about which player will break the bank and whether Sam Curran’s ₹18.5 crore record from the previous year will be surpassed. The next 12 hours are sure to be a bumpy-yet-enthralling ride for cricket enthusiasts worldwide.