Starc leaves captain Cummins behind to become most expensive buy in IPL history

Dubai: 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 raked in the big moolah at the auction here on Tuesday. Not long after Cummins fetched an unprecedented pay packet of Rs 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.

Starc’s payout was significantly more than Sam Curran got last year when Punjab Kings paid a then record Rs 18.50 crore for the England all-rounder. Such are the unpredictable ways of IPL that 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.

In an interaction with Jio Cinema, Starc opened up on his initial reaction.

“It was a shock, of course. My wife Alyssa is with the women’s team in India so she was getting updates quicker than what I was seeing on screen. Surprised but thrilled,” Starc said on Jio Cinema.

“Humbling to still feel like I’m wanted or needed I guess. My gameplay hasn’t changed much across formats except few things here and there. Hopefully the experience can translate to some success. Not too much else to be said,” he added.

Starc said that he did not did not even dream about being sold for such high price.

“Nothing I could’ve dreamt of. A few teams were looking to bolster their bowling attacks but there are a plethora of great bowlers in that list. Pat has gone to Sunrisers, but that’s where he was at KKR, and I hope to fill his shoes there,” Starc said.

On being asked about the price-tag pressure, Starc said: “No doubt there’ll be some pressure that comes with the territory. But having the extra experience I have from my last IPL hopefully helps. Few ups and downs I’ve had before but this comes with the territory. Try to be successful and have as much impact as possible.”

Australia captain Pat Cummins briefly held that honour, of being the most expensive buy in IPL, after Sunrisers Hyderabad agreed to splash INR 20.5 Crore for his service before Starc bettered that mark.

When asked about him and Cummins getting paid such huge sums, Starc joked: “Our Test squad whatsapp group has been going off to say its our shout to get dinner next. Something to do ahead of the Boxing Day Test. Special night for both of us.”

Starc, 33, will return to the IPL after an eight-year absence, having previously played for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

When asked about his decision, Starc said: “Been a while, yes. I’ve been involved with RCB in 2014-15, then picked up by KKR in 2018 but got injured. But I’ve been prioritising international cricket and Test cricket for Australia. Coming into the back end of this year and next year, it’s much quieter for Australia as a group so excited to be involved. A good chance to play some really competitive T20 cricket in the best T20 league going around with a T20 World Cup coming up.”