Mitchell Starc on Tuesday became the costliest player in the IPL history after Kolkata Knight Riders snapped him for a whopping Rs 24.75 crore in the auction and the team’s CEO Venky Mysore justified the price tag, saying the Australian speedster “was a preferred player from the skill-set standpoint”.
Not long after Australia captain Pat Cummins fetched an unprecedented Rs 20.50 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad, the KKR raised the bar for a record-breaking bid for Starc, who last played in the IPL in 2015. “… obviously he (Strac) was a preferred player from skill set standpoint. Initially, we were not successful in some of the bids. Maybe that worked in our favour, because we did end up having money to do this. So we’re just thankful that we were able to have him on our side,” Mysore said.

“It shows the value of the player and the skill set he (Starc) possesses. He’s a fabulous player.” He said spending on a particular player is a matter of perspective and each franchise decides how to “slice” its purse differently.

“…now it seems like wow, Rs 24.75. I was telling someone that the salary cap of a team when IPL started in 2008 was Rs 20 crore. So things have changed. When the auction is over, all the 10 teams are going to walk out having spent 100 crores and each team decides to slice it differently,” he said.

“So what you’ve paid to somebody … is a matter of perspective. Ultimately, we’re all spending the same amount of money. When you plan your team, from a retention standpoint, with the auction far away, you’ve no idea of who are the players being released from other teams, trades happening, and all that. So it’s a very dynamic environment.” It was an intense bidding war between KKR and Gujarat Titans for Starc before the former lapped up the Australian left-arm pacer for a record deal.

Five-time champions Chennai Super Kings bought three key players in Tueday’s auction in the form of Kiwi Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell and India medium pacer Shardul Thakur.

“It’s not just who you get but it is the planning you do behind that. Mitchell was obviously an important player and that can throw you a little bit. A lot of nerves around it. I am just happy you get that main path under your belt and it went well for us,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said.

Mitchell was bought by CSK for Rs 14 crore.

“Daryl is a different type of player, but his performances over the last 18-24 months have warranted this type of a price. He is an unfashionable player, often goes under the radar. With his ability to play spin, he is competitive and he is also a handy bowler. In Chepauk, we can slide him into a role. Just like his performances, he fits in nicely and a good buy for us.” Fleming, however, played it safe when asked about a succession plan for the great Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“We’ve had succession plans for MS for about 10 years. It is going to be a talking point, but he is as engaged and as enthusiastic as I have seen him for a while. While that passion is there for the team and franchise, we’ll roll on.” Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Daniel Vettori too was satisfied with the buys the team made in the auction.

SRH bought Australia’s World Cup-winning skipper Pat Cummins for a whopping Rs 20.50 core, besides grabbing Travis Head for Rs 6.80 crore.

“It is sort of tough to talk about what happened last season, but we were pretty adamant to get in left-handed batsman (Head). With (Aiden) Markram, (Henrich) Klaasen and Glenn Phillips in the squad, and with (Harry) Brook there in the middle, felt there was similarity between the four of them. So we just wanted to get some options.

“Everyone knows how well he (Head) has been playing for an extended period of time now. So we are grateful to get him at that price. We expected him to go for more.

“It’s such a small auction and as I said, the team felt relatively settled that we could get one or two players. The left-handed opening batsman was a huge part of that. I didn’t expect to be pushed that hard by Chennai but happens and then obviously looking at their quality at the top.” Vettori said the franchise hasn’t yet decided about who would lead the side next season.

“The captaincy is just wait and see really. We don’t want to burden guys just at this stage. There is a lot of cricket before the IPL, so we have to get through that and we can make a decision closer to the time.” Punjab Kings Head of Cricket Development, Sanjay Bangar justified the amount they spent on India pacer Harshal Patel. The Kings shelled out Rs 11.75 crore to get the services of Patel, while also acquiring England all-rounder Chris Woakes for Rs 4.2 crore.

“Woakes covers two positions for us – (Sam) Curran and (Kagiso) Rabada. Having an Indian seamer is of immense value. Harshal bowls through the middle and death overs. It gives us an option of using Harshal as an Impact Player. That was the thinking behind acquiring both Woakes and Harshal,” Bangar said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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