With the Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction 2024 set to take place in Dubai on December 19, there’s widespread speculation about which players may attract the highest bids from the teams involved. As things stand, Englishman Sam Curran holds the distinction of being the most expensive player in IPL history. The all-rounder was roped in by Punjab Kings for a whopping sum of 18.50 crore INR at the IPL 2023 auction, dwarfing Rajasthan Royals’ acquisition of Chris Morris for 16.25 crore from 2022.
With some of the hottest prospects in world cricket set to go under the hammer at the IPL 2024 auction and several teams boasting a sizable purse, it won’t be surprising to see the record broken again this season.
Here’s a list of the top five players who can fetch premium bids at the IPL 2024 auction:
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)
At the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, Rachin Ravindra’s stock skyrocketed. In his debut World Cup appearance, the Kiwi batter hit 578 runs, including three centuries and two half tons, in 10 innings to finish as the fourth-highest run scorer in the tournament. The 24-year-old is also handy with the ball and has the ability to pick up crucial wickets with his slow left-arm spin. He already boasts 11 wickets in 13 T20I innings and has already proven his prowess with the bat on Indian pitches, which makes him a hot prospect for the IPL auction.
Bidding for the Kiwi sensation will start at a comparatively low base price of INR 50 lakh, but his services will be highly sought-after and expect a fierce bidding war for the nifty all-rounder.
Daryl Mitchell (New Zealand)
Daryl Mitchell is known for his big-hitting capabilities and has the rare ability to accelerate the innings from the middle order. Like Rachin Ravindra, he was a key player for New Zealand in the recently-concluded ODI World Cup, scoring 552 runs to finish fifth on the top run getter’s list. Interestingly, both his centuries in the tournament came against hosts India.
Mitchell’s ability to bowl right hand medium pace also makes him a nifty bowling option for any team. The big draw, however, will be his scoring rate. The big Kiwi averages close to 25 while striking at a rate of just under 140 in T20Is. Bidding for Daryl Mitchell will start at INR 1 crore.
Travis Head (Australia)
The Australian vice-captain is a versatile opening batter who can also bowl handy medium pace. Head was instrumental to Australia winning the 2023 ODI World Cup and was the Player of the Match in both the semi-finals against South Africa and the final against India.
The Aussie is sure to attract the big bucks at the IPL 2024 auction and with a high base price of INR 2 crore, it won’t be surprising to see Australia’s World Cup hero fetch a record sum.
Mitchell Starc (Australia)
This left-arm pacer is a proven match winner in international cricket and has been leading Australia’s pace battery for almost a decade now. Although he hasn’t played in the IPL since 2015, his experience and pedigree are likely to fetch him a hefty price tag. With teams looking for quality bowlers, Starc could be one of the most sought-after men at the IPL 2024 auction.
Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)
Since breaking into the South African national team earlier this year, fast bowler Gerald Coetzee has impressed everyone with his raw pace and wicket-taking abilities. Considered one of the most promising young bowlers in the world, the youngster lived up to his billing at the 2023 ODI World Cup and was his team’s top wicket-taker with 20 wickets in just eight matches.
Adept at bowling with both the new ball and older leather, Coetzee will be in high demand among all teams looking to add firepower to their pace battery and there are quite a few of these this year. Coetzee will demand the premium base value of 2 crore.
Besides the five, Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, Australian veteran Josh Hazlewood, Englishman Josh Inglis and India’s Shahrukh Khan may command premium valuations at the IPL 2024 auction.
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