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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Sam Curran account credit: Rs 18.50 crore

I’m absolutely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled to receive that bid, says England all-rounder

Sayak Banerjee Calcutta Published 24.12.22, 03:52 AM
Sam Curran.

Sam Curran. File picture

The year 2022 couldn’t have been any better for Sam Curran.

If the Player-of-the-Tournament award in this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia and being adjudged the Man of the Match in the final of the tournament weren’t enough, Curran turned out to be Indian Premier League’s most expensive buy ever.

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During intense bidding at the auction in Kochi on Friday, the England all-rounder went to Punjab Kings for as many as Rs 18.5 crore. Incidentally, it was for the Punjab franchise that Curran made his IPL debut back in 2019, after an impressive showing in the home Tests versus India the year before.

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore began the bidding war for Curran, whose base price was Rs 2 crore, before Rajasthan Royals joined in. With RCB leaving the race, the battle then was between the Royals and Mumbai.

With the price reaching Rs 11.75 crore, Mumbai tapped out and Chennai Super Kings joined in. Soon after, the Royals too gave up with Punjab making an entry all of a sudden.

The bid waltzed past Rs 15 crore, and it became even more dramatic with Lucknow Super Giants bidding at Rs 15.75 crore, looking for an ideal replacement for West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder. Curran’s price kept going up, till Mumbai Indians were back with a Rs 18-crore bid. Punjab had the last call.

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled to receive that bid,” Curran told the official broadcasters. “Punjab is where I made my debut. It’ll be very different now, but I know the stadium at Mohali pretty well, and surely our teammates will help me. I feel confident going into this IPL as we had a fantastic (T20) World Cup.”

Curran’s price eclipsed that of South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who was picked by the Royals at Rs 16.25 crore at the 2021 auction. Morris’ performances couldn’t quite justify that price tag, but the same is unlikely to happen with the leftarm seamer-cum-batter as he has proven himself across formats at the international level.

Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, impressing over the last 12 months at the international level, had Mumbai and Delhi Capitals breaking the bank to rope him in. He was eventually taken at Rs 17.5 crore by Mumbai.

The focus was also on Curran’s England teammate Ben Stokes. The talismanic all-rounder had bids from the RCB, Royals, Super Giants and the Sunrisers Hyderabad before Chennai entered at Rs 15.25 crore.

With the Lucknow franchise giving up, Stokes went on to be Chennai’s most expensive buy ever at Rs 16.25 crore.

The England Test captain’s teammate and former skipper Joe Root, too, got his first IPL deal when the Royals got him at his base price of Rs 1 crore minutes before the auction ended. Root, registering his name at the auction for the first time since 2018, went unsold in the first round.

Earlier, Harry Brook, who scored centuries in all three Tests against Pakistan in the recently-concluded series, was snapped up by the Sunrisers for Rs 13.25 crore.

The Windies may well be performing poorly, but there was severe bidding for their former captain Nicholas Pooran, who went to Lucknow at Rs 16 crore.

As for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who went in with just Rs 7.05 crore, they roped in Bangladesh limited-overs opener Litton Das (Rs 50 lakh), who will be joined by his Test skipper Shakib-al Hasan (Rs 1.5 crore). The Knights took both these players in the final round, after buying Namibia all-rounder David Wiese at Rs 1 crore. Tamil Nadu opener-keeper Narayan Jagadeesan (Rs 90 lakh) and Himachal Pradesh quick Vaibhav Arora (Rs 60 lakh) were among the rest of their buys.

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