Rs 45.25 crore in single frame! Memes explode as Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins hit jackpot in IPL 2024 auction
Australia's Mitchell Starc surpassed his compatriot Pat Cummins to became the most expensive player in Indian Premier League history, after he was brought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 24.75 crore at the IPL 2024 auction held in Dubai on Tuesday.
In a stunning turn of events at the IPL auction 2024 in Dubai on Tuesday, Pat Cummins, who had had set the record for being the most expensive player in IPL history earlier in the day, saw his achievement short-lived. Sunrisers Hyderabad had made a colossal bid of Rs 20.5 crore for the Australian captain. However, the record was quickly surpassed by Cummins' compatriot and fellow Australian teammate, Mitchell Starc.
Mitchell Starc, a left-arm quick known for his explosive bowling, lived up to the immense anticipation surrounding his auction, securing an astounding Rs 24.75 crore bid from Kolkata Knight Riders. This historic figure not only surpasses Cummins' record but also cements Starc's status as one of the highest-paid players in the history of the Indian Premier League.
Remarkably, this marks Mitchell Starc's second stint with the two-time IPL champions, as he had previously represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2015 season. The intense competition for Starc's services at the auction highlighted the immense value and impact that top-tier Australian players bring to the IPL, making them sought-after commodities for franchises aiming for success in the upcoming season.
Mitchell Starc was always poised to be one of the most sought-after and attention-grabbing acquisitions in the IPL auction. Prior to the auction, Starc had reportedly received offers from as many as five franchises, creating an air of anticipation around his bidding process. The electrifying atmosphere within Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena reflected the frenzy surrounding Starc's potential acquisition.
As auctioneer Mallika Sagar announced Starc's name, a collective gasp and enthusiastic hooting erupted from the crowd, signaling the excitement that lay ahead. With a base price of Rs 2 crore, Starc immediately drew interest from Mumbai Indians. The intensity escalated when Delhi Capitals entered the fray, resulting in a captivating bidding war between the two powerhouse franchises. The back-and-forth battle continued until Delhi Capitals eventually withdrew when the bidding reached the Rs 9.4 crore mark. This sequence of events set the stage for a riveting auction and hinted at the tremendous value placed on securing the services of a player of Starc's calibre.
However, Mumbai Indians' jubilation was fleeting, encountering stiff competition when Gujarat Titans entered the bidding fray. With the Gujarat Titans raising the paddle, Mitchell Starc's price surged to Rs 9.6 crore, prompting Mumbai Indians to withdraw. The disappointment on Akash Ambani's face was unmistakable, setting the stage for the dramatic events that unfolded in the next 5-10 minutes.
Gujarat Titans' bid faced a formidable challenge from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), with Gautam Gambhir, seated at the table, leading an extravagant bidding spree. What followed was a neck-and-neck battle between the two franchises, and the tension in the arena was palpable as the bidding war intensified.
Similar to Cummins, the moment Mitchell Starc breached the Rs 20 crore threshold, the auction venue erupted in resounding applause, with the cheers amplifying with each subsequent bid. Just shy of the Rs 25-crore mark, Gujarat Titans decided they had reached their limit. A satisfied smile adorned Gautam Gambhir's face, and as soon as auctioneer Mallika Sagar sealed the deal with the decisive strike of the gavel, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) realized they had struck gold.
Entering the auction with a purse of Rs 32.7 crore, KKR now holds approximately Rs 6 crore after securing Mitchell Starc, with KS Bharat and Chetan Sakariya being their other acquisitions at Rs 50 lakh each. Starc's monumental bid not only dominated the headlines but also cast a shadow over other notable purchases in Sets 3 and 4. Gujarat Titans secured Umesh Yadav for Rs 5.8 crore, and Chris Woakes found a new IPL home with Punjab Kings for Rs 4.2 crore.
The readiness of franchises to go the extra mile for Mitchell Starc undeniably raises eyebrows. Notably, Starc has been absent from IPL action since 2015, and his T20 International record doesn't boast the most impressive figures – 73 wickets from 58 games at an average of 22.91, a strike rate of 18, and an economy rate of 7.63.
Here's a look at the memes that exploded on X, formerly Twitter, after Starc surpassed Cummins to become the most expensive player in IPL history: