IPL 2024 Auction: Why Indian Stars Are Raising Loyalty Questions

- Cricket - December 20, 2023
IPL 2024 Auction: Why Indian Stars Are Raising Loyalty Questions
IPL 2024 Auction: Why Indian Stars Are Raising Loyalty Questions

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 Player Auction was held in Dubai on December 19, 2023, and it witnessed some unprecedented bidding wars for the world’s best cricketers. Australian pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins emerged as the most expensive players in the history of the IPL, fetching ₹24.75 crore and ₹20.50 crore respectively from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH). However, their astronomical prices also raised questions about the value and loyalty of the Indian players, who are paid much less than their overseas counterparts.

Starc and Cummins, who were instrumental in Australia’s World Cup triumph earlier this year, attracted fierce competition from several franchises, who were willing to break the bank for their services. Starc, who had opted out of the previous two IPL seasons due to injury concerns, surpassed the previous record of ₹18.50 crore set by Sam Curran in 2023. Cummins, who was released by Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of the auction, became the second-most expensive player ever, surpassing the ₹17.50 crore paid for Cameron Green.

While the Australian duo were the toast of the auction, some of the Indian stars were left wondering about their worth and loyalty in the IPL. Jasprit Bumrah, who is the No.1 bowler in both IPL and ODI rankings, is paid only ₹12 crore by MI, the same amount as MS Dhoni, who is the captain and icon of Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are the captains and leading run-scorers of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and MI respectively, are paid ₹16 crore each, which is less than what some of the overseas players are getting.

Indian Stars Question Loyalty, Overseas Preference

Anil Kumble (Coach Punjab Kings)

The huge disparity between the prices of the overseas players and the Indian players did not go unnoticed by some of the former and current cricketers, who questioned the logic and the loyalty of the franchises. Anil Kumble, the former India captain and coach, who is also the head coach of Punjab Kings, expressed his concern over the trend of chasing overseas players, especially when there are plenty of talented and skilled players in India. He said that the IPL is an Indian Premier League, and the franchises should give more importance to the Indian players, who are the backbone of the tournament.

Kumble also suggested that there should be a spending limit on the overseas players, so that the Indian players can get the salary they deserve. He said that if some of the Indian stars like Dhoni, Kohli, Bumrah, and Sharma decide to go for the auction, their prices would be more than ₹ 40 crore each, and the franchises should think about this before buying any player.

Dodda Ganesh (Former RCB Pacer)

Dodda Ganesh, the former India and RCB pacer, also joined in the debate, and showed his disappointment over RCB’s pick of Alzarri Joseph, the West Indies fast bowler, for ₹ 11.5 crore. He said that Joseph is not consistent and has injury issues, and he is not good at RCB’s home ground, which is the high-scoring Chinnaswamy Stadium. He said that Joseph was dropped from Mumbai Indians after one good match, and he is not worth the price. He also said that instead of the RCB management, the RCB fans should sit on the auction table, and they would do better bidding, pick better players, and save money.

Akash Chopra (Former India Opener and Commentar)

Akash Chopra, the former India opener and commentator, also echoed Kumble’s views, and added that Starc and Cummins are getting more than the prize money of the IPL, which is ₹ 20 crore for the winner. He said that Starc is getting paid almost ₹ 7.6 lakh per ball, which is absurd. He also wondered why Bumrah is not getting the recognition he deserves, as he is the best bowler in the world and has been instrumental in Mumbai Indians’ success.

He also added “There should be a different purse for overseas players, it is the INDIAN premier league. Starc doesn’t deserve more salary than Bumrah”

Other Notable Buys and Snubs

Apart from Starc and Cummins, some of the other notable buys in the auction were:

  • Daryl Mitchell (CSK, ₹14 crore): NZ’s most expensive all-rounder, known for power hitting and medium pace. Played in WC23 final, brief stint with RCB in 2023.
  • Harshal Patel (PBKS, ₹11.75 crore): India’s most expensive all-rounder, Purple Cap winner in IPL 2023. Lower-order batting and death-overs specialist.
  • Alzarri Joseph (RCB, ₹11.5 crore): WI’s most expensive fast bowler, record holder for best IPL bowling figures. Known for pace and bounce.
  • Spencer Johnson (GT, ₹10 crore): Most expensive uncapped overseas player, leading wicket-taker in BBL 23-24. Left-arm swing and accuracy his weapons.
  • Sameer Rizvi (CSK, ₹8.4 crore): Most expensive uncapped Indian player, explosive batsman and versatile talent. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy’s leading run-scorer in 2023-24.
  • Rilee Rossouw (PBKS, ₹8 crore): SA’s most expensive batsman, aggressive hitter and spin specialist. Part of SA’s WC23 semifinal run, scored well for RR in 2023.
  • Shahrukh Khan (GT, ₹7.4 crore): 2nd-most expensive uncapped Indian player, power hitter and off-spin bowler. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy’s 2nd-highest scorer in 2023-24.
  • Rovman Powell (RR, ₹7.4 crore): WI’s most expensive batsman, destructive batting and athletic fielding. Won T20 WC23 as captain, played for KKR in 2023.

Some Of the Surprising Snubs in The Auction Were:

  • Travis Head, the Australia batsman, who remained unsold despite having a base price of ₹ 2 crore.
  • Mujeeb Rahman, the Afghanistan spinner, who remained unsold despite having a base price of ₹ 2 crore and being the No. 2 T20I bowler in the world.
  • Adil Rashid, the England spinner, who remained unsold despite having a base price of ₹ 2 crore and being the No. 4 T20I bowler in the world.
  • Mustafizur Rahman, the Bangladesh fast bowler, who remained unsold despite having a base price of ₹ 2 crore and being the No. 9 T20I bowler in the world.
  • Jason Holder, the West Indies all-rounder, who remained unsold despite having a base price of ₹ 1.5 crore and being the No. 1 Test all-rounder in the world.

The IPL 2024 Auction was a thrilling and shocking event, which left every fan and cricketer stunned by the bidding wars and the salary gaps. The auction also set the stage for the upcoming season of the IPL, which will start in April 2024, and will feature some of the best players in the world. The IPL 2024 will be a spectacle to watch, as the teams will compete for the glory and the money.

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