Mitchell Starc, Australia’s World Cup-winning pacer, became the most expensive player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), after he was bought for Rs 24.75 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders. The left-arm pacer became the second player to breach the 20-cocre mark after team-mate Pat Cummins was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 20.5 crore on the same day in the IPL 2024 auction held in Dubai on Tuesday
The 33-year-old, who went into the auction at a base price of Rs 2 crore, attracted bids from Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals. Both teams were involved in an intense bidding war. Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Titans joined in to take the price past Rs 20 crore, before the Kolkata-based franchise bagged him at a record price.
Australia’s premier bowler, Starc returns to the IPL after an eight-year hiatus.
The veteran Australian pacer had abstained from participating in the IPL since 2015, focusing on fulfilling national duties. Starc’s last appearance in the IPL auction was in 2018, where the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured his services for a sum of Rs 9.4 crore. However, an unfortunate fracture in his right tibial bone resulted in him missing the entire season.
Starc’s IPL journey comprises two seasons, both spent with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the 2014 edition, he showcased his bowling prowess by claiming 14 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 28.71. The following year, Starc elevated his performance, amassing 20 wickets in 13 matches with an outstanding average of just 14.55. Notably, he achieved his best figures of 4/15 during the 2015 season.
Beyond his IPL contributions, Starc played a pivotal role in Australia’s historic sixth ODI World Cup victory. His exceptional bowling skills were on full display as he bagged 16 wickets in 10 matches during the tournament, underlining his significance in the team’s success. As Starc prepares to make his return to the IPL, fans eagerly anticipate the resurgence of the seasoned Australian pacer on the T20 stage.
Starc boasts an outstanding track record in limited-overs cricket over the past two years, showcasing his prowess as a premier fast bowler. In ODI matches during this period, Starc has been highly effective, accumulating a remarkable tally of 41 wickets in 22 games. In 2022, his economy rate reached 4.26, a testament to his ability to control the run flow.
While the economy rate experienced a slight uptick to 6.16 in 2023, Starc’s overall performance remains commendable. In T20Is during 2022, he continued to make an impact, claiming 13 wickets in 10 matches with an impressive average of 24. One of the highlights of his T20I performances in 2022 was achieving his career-best bowling figures of 4/20, underscoring his proficiency in the shortest format of the game.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)