Expressing astonishment and gratitude, Mitchell Starc reflects on his unprecedented status as the costliest IPL auction buy. The accomplished cricketer articulates the overwhelming nature of this achievement, emphasizing that the reality surpasses anything he could have envisioned. In an exclusive revelation, Starc unveils his sentiments about this significant milestone, offering fans and cricket enthusiasts a glimpse into the unexpected turn of events that astounded him.
IPL 2024 Auction Unfolds for Aussie Fast Bowler
On Tuesday evening, Mitchell Starc experienced nervous anticipation as he monitored the IPL 2024 auction from his home in Sydney. The day had already been eventful for Starc, involving tasks like mowing the lawn, walking the dogs, completing shopping errands, and preparing dinner for himself.
Starc anxiously anticipated the moment when the auction would feature his name in the fourth set, which included capped fast bowlers. Earlier in the auction, his Australian captain and close friend Pat Cummins had secured a deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 20.5 crore (US$2.569 million approximately), surpassing the previous record set by England all-rounder Sam Curran in the 2023 auction and making Cummins the IPL’s most expensive player to date.
Mitchell Starc ‘s Unanticipated Bid Battle in IPL 2024 Auction
In the build-up to the auction, many experts and team owners anticipated that Mitchell Starc would secure the title of the IPL’s most expensive player. After nearly two and a half hours of intense bidding in Dubai, the moment arrived as Player Number 28, Starc, entered the auction.
What unfolded next surprised Starc and everyone else closely following the auction. The bidding war commenced with Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani and Delhi Capitals counterpart Kiran Gandhe. As the bidding reached INR 9.4 crore, Gandhe withdrew. Kolkata Knight Riders entered the scene at the INR 9.8 crore mark. Given their history, the Knight Riders were seen as favorites to bid for Starc, having signed him for INR 9.4 crore at the 2018 auction, though Starc had to withdraw due to injury.
Starc’s Record-Breaking bid- INR 24.75 Crore
Following Mumbai’s withdrawal, Gujarat Titans engaged in a bidding duel with Knight Riders for Mitchell Starc. The tension escalated as both franchises competed to secure Starc, and the auction room buzzed with excitement when Starc’s bid surpassed that of Pat Cummins. After nearly 17 minutes of intense bidding, Knight Riders successfully acquired Starc for INR 24.75 crore, marking a shift in the title of the IPL’s most expensive player from Cummins to Starc in less than two hours.
Starc, along with his wife Alyssa Healy, who was providing updates from Mumbai during the Australia women’s tour of India, was surprised by the turn of events. In a conversation with Star Sports, Starc expressed his intrigue about how the auction would unfold and admitted he hadn’t expected to make history in such a manner.
“I’m not sure any words would do it justice, really,” Starc chuckled when asked about his reaction to Knight Riders’ winning bid. “Alyssa was over there with the Australian team at the minute, so her coverage was slightly ahead of mine here in Australia. So she sort of saw the numbers before I did, so I was getting the updates through her. But, yeah, a fair bit of shock, and certainly excitement with how it was all unfolding. But nothing that I could’ve ever imagined. Thoroughly thrilled to be joining KKR.”
“It’s a shock for me…”
Starc participated in only two IPL seasons – 2014 and 2015 – with Royal Challengers Bangalore, who acquired him for INR 5 crore. After that, he opted to manage his workload for several years before deciding to enter the auction ahead of the 2018 season. Once again, Knight Riders showed confidence in Starc, investing significant funds in him, believing that he possesses the skills to consistently win matches. These skills include bowling in the 140-150 kph range, generating both conventional and reverse swing, using toe-crushing yorkers to dismiss batters and break stumps, incorporating a deceptive slower ball, all while maintaining the added threat of his left-arm angle. Additionally, his lower-order hitting adds depth to their batting lineup.
Regarding the immediate future, Starc is eager to catch up with Cummins before training on Wednesday as they prepare to rejoin the rest of the Australia squad in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan. “It could be an interesting conversation between the bowling group tomorrow and the gym,” he quipped.
While he and Healy will spend the remainder of 2023 immersed in a “Christmas of cricket” on different continents, Starc is delighted to share the joy he and Cummins have experienced today with the rest of the Australia squad. “The team chat has been going nuts,” he remarked. “The are all saying it’s our shout, so we’ll just go about our business and get ready for the next Test match. But a few of our Australian team-mates might be waiting for us to treat them.”