Exciting seamer Sam Curran, who was part of England’s T20 World Cup winning squad and was also the player of the tournament at the 2022 World Cup, is one of 21 men who have set a maximum reserve price of INR 2 crore (about USD 246,000) for the 2023 IPL auction scheduled on December 23.
There isn’t a single Indian player in the 2 crore tier, including England Test captain Ben Stokes, Australian allrounder Cameron Green, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, and Nicholas Pooran, who just stepped down as West Indies white-ball skipper.
At the auction, a maximum of 87 players (squad strength of 25 apiece) can be purchased, with 30 of them being international names. The auction will take place in Kochi on December 23.
The original long list, which the IPL shared with the 10 franchises on Thursday, has 991 players (714 Indian and 277 from other countries). The IPL will trim this down based on feedback from franchisees, who have until December 9 to respond to tournament officials.
In an unusual move, no Indian player is placed in the top listed price range of INR 2 crore. The list of 19 capped Indians consists primarily of former national players such as Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, and Mayank Agarwal.
Rahane was released by Kolkata Knight Riders after being purchased for one crore in the last auction. This time, his starting price is INR 50 lakh. Ishant is looking for INR 75 lakh after going unsold in 2022.
Agarwal was the first player retained by Punjab Kings prior to the mega auction last year and was also named captain of the team. However, a disappointing season for both the player and the team pushed Kings to dismiss Agarwal, who had been paid INR 14 crores last season.
Agarwal has set his starting price at one crore. Jaydev Unadkat, a left-arm fast bowler who has been among the highest-paid players in IPL auctions, has set his starting price at INR 50 lakh. Unadkat, who guided Saurashtra to the Vijay Hazare Trophy final, where he is the leading wicket-taker, was released by the Mumbai Indians, who had signed him for INR 1.3 crore in 2022.
The sequence in which a player’s name is called out for bidding has been the most eagerly anticipated aspect of an IPL auction, whether mega or mini. And, typically, franchises place a high value on the names in the marquee set, which opens proceedings. Curran, Stokes, Williamson, and Pooran are likely to be included in this group, as is Agarwal.
Currran last appeared in the tournament for Chennai Super Kings in 2021, before a stress fracture in his lower back forced him to miss a significant amount of time. The Super Kings previously purchased Curran for INR 5.5 crore and will attempt to do so again, though rival franchises such as Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings, who have the two largest purses, will have a better chance of acquiring the England allrounder who is a proven match-winner with both ball and bat.
Stokes’ last appearance in the IPL was also in 2021. Stokes, who played for Rajasthan Royals, was injured around the halfway point of the season. Stokes was purchased by the Royals for INR 12.5 crore in 2018 and signed a three-year contract with them. Stokes opted out of the IPL in 2022.
Dwayne Bravo appears to have bid his final farewell to the IPL (at least as a player). His name was not on the long list since he was released by the Super Kings prior to the auction.
Bravo is a three-time IPL champion and the tournament’s leading wicket-taker (183). MS Dhoni’s team hired him in 2010 and has kept faith in him until 2022. However, at 39 years old and suffering ailments, it is likely that the West Indian would now take a backroom job, similar to his close friend Kieron Pollard at Mumbai Indians.
Australia has the most players in the auction among the 14 foreign countries, with 57. But two of their greatest players, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, aren’t on the list. Although, given that neither had any takers last year and are set to be extensively committed in Ashes preparation with the series beginning on June 16, it’s not surprising that they’ve chosen to forego the IPL. Pat Cummins, Australia’s Test and One-Day International skipper, has also withdrawn from the tournament.
INR 2 crore base price: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Tom Banton, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Jamie Overton, Craig Overton, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Kane Williamson, Rilee Rossouw, Rassie van der Dussen, Angelo Mathews, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder
INR 1.5 crore base price: Sean Abott, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Shakib Al Hasan, Harry Brook, Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Sherfane Rutherford
INR 1 crore base price: Mayank Agarwal, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Moises Henriques, Andrew Tye, Joe Root, Luke Wood, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Heinrich Klaasen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kusal Perera, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shai Hope, Akeal Hossein, David Wiese.