The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 Auction in Dubai on Tuesday saw a total of 72 players being sold for a massive amount of Rs. 230.45 crore. All 10 franchises bolstered their ranks considerably with multiple deals in the auction but they can still add players to their squad. According to the IPL rules, teams can take part in swap deals or all-cash deals for cricketers among themselves during the ongoing trade window. The window opened on December 20 – a day after the auction ended – and will now be operational until a month before the start of the 2024 season.

The window was also opened ahead of the auction with one of the biggest trades being the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians.

While there is no limit to the number of trades that each team can do during the course of the trade window, all the deals will have to approved by the IPL governing council.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Starc surpassed his Australian bowling partner Pat Cummins to become the most expensive buy in IPL history with an eye popping bid of Rs 24.75 crore as pacers attracted big moolah at the auction on Tuesday.

Not long after Cummins fetched an unprecedented pay packet of 20.50 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad, Starc raised the bar when Kolkata Knight Riders made a multi million dollar bid for the left-arm pacer who last played in the IPL in 2015.

Such are the unpredictable ways of IPL that the one third of the formidable Australian pace trio, Josh Hazlewood, went unsold in the first round of auction from a base price of Rs 2 crore.

Gujarat Titans and KKR were involved in a long and exhilarating bidding battle for Starc before the latter lapped him up for a record deal.

Starc, 33, has usually prioritised international duty over IPL but decided to enter the auction with one eye on the T20 World Cup that follows the IPL.

He has only played only two seasons of the IPL, taking 34 wickets in 27 games at an average of 20.38.

In contrast, Cummins has been a regular at the IPL but skipped the 2023 edition to focus on the Ashes and the ODI World Cup.

An intense bidding war followed for Cummins with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad raising their paddles frenetically to secure the services of the fast bowling all-rounder.

In the end, it was SRH who broke the bank for Cummins, who drew the highest-ever bid surpassing the Rs 18.5 crore that Punjab Kings had shelled out for England’s Sam Curran last year.

It was not the first time that Cummins attracted huge sums at the IPL auction. Ahead of the 2020 edition, KKR had paid Rs 15.5 crore for his services.

(With PTI inputs)

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