Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Break IPL Auction Records, Earning Over $8 Million Combined

In a stunning turn of events at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Dubai on Tuesday, Australian pace duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins shattered records by raking in a combined total of over $8 million. Starc, who has been absent from the IPL since 2015 due to injury and workload concerns, made a triumphant return as he was acquired by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a staggering $4.42 million. Meanwhile, Cummins set a new benchmark for Australian players with a massive $3.67 million contract with the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The bidding war for Starc was intense, with the Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and Gujarat Titans all vying for his services. However, it was the Kolkata Knight Riders who emerged victorious, securing the rights to the 33-year-old fast bowler.

Cummins, who skipped the T20 tournament this year due to a packed international schedule, became the highest-paid Australian player in IPL history. His outstanding performance in leading Australia to an upset ODI World Cup final victory over India in Ahmedabad last month undoubtedly contributed to his hot property status in the auction. Cummins expressed his excitement about joining the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a video on the team’s Instagram page, looking forward to playing alongside World Cup hero Travis Head, who was also acquired by the franchise for $1.22 million.

However, not all Australian players found success in the IPL auction. Josh Hazlewood, recently released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, went unsold. Star batter Steve Smith also faced disappointment as he went without a buyer, despite his extensive history in the IPL. Nevertheless, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon in the United States and the Caribbean, there remains speculation that Smith may find a team eventually.

Travis Head, after a career-defining World Cup campaign, secured a return to the IPL after a six-year hiatus. Head, who had previously been part of Delhi in 2015 and the Royal Challengers during 2016 and 2017, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming season.

As the auction unfolded, World Cup-winning wicketkeeper Josh Inglis went unsold with a base price of $357,000. On the other hand, several Australian players, including Mitch Marsh, David Warner, Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Cameron Green, and Glenn Maxwell, were retained by their respective franchises before the auction commenced.

The record-breaking sums fetched by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the IPL auction underscore the value placed on top-tier Australian talent in the lucrative T20 league. As Australia encourages its players to participate in the IPL ahead of the T20 World Cup, the stage is set for an exciting and competitive season with some of the best cricketers in the world showcasing their skills on the grand IPL platform.