The IPL 2024 auction witnessed unexpected levels of excitement as Australian pacer Mitchell Starc emerged as the headline, securing a jaw-dropping deal with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a record-breaking ₹24.75 crore.
This astronomical figure surpassed the previous record held by Pat Cummins, making Starc the highest-ever paid player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The bidding war for Starc began with Delhi Capitals (DC) entering the fray, led by their skipper Rishabh Pant enthusiastically raising the paddle for the Australian left-arm pacer.
Mumbai Indians (MI) quickly joined the competition, pushing the initial bid to ₹8 crore. KKR, ever the strategic player, entered the arena at ₹9.8 crore, sparking a thrilling showdown with DC and MI.
As the bid crossed the ₹20 crore mark, Gujarat Titans (GT) joined the fray, setting a new all-time auction record at ₹21 crore. The intensity of the bidding war reached new heights as GT and KKR engaged in a fierce exchange, with Starc’s value skyrocketing with every bid.
Eventually, the Kolkata Knight Riders emerged victorious, securing the prolific pacer’s services for an eye-watering ₹24.75 crore.
This record-breaking acquisition not only solidifies Starc’s return to the IPL after an eight-year hiatus but also cements his status as one of the premier fast bowlers in the T20 format.
The KKR camp erupted in jubilation as they secured the services of the Australian speedster with a bid that surpassed all expectations.
Mitchell Starc, who last played in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2015, expressed his desire to make a comeback in the 2024 season. His absence in previous editions was due to injury and workload management.
Starc’s return to the IPL, marked by the staggering deal with KKR, adds a new dimension to the team’s pace attack and injects excitement into the upcoming season.
The historic bid also surpassed the previous record held by fellow Australian pacer Pat Cummins, who was acquired by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for ₹20.50 crore in the same auction.
The duelling bids between franchises for premier fast bowlers underscore the heightened value placed on players with the ability to make a game-changing impact.