Australia’s Pat Cummins has become the most expensive overseas buy ever in the Indian Premier League after the Kolkata Knight Riders paid a staggering 155 million rupees ($3.1 million) for the fast bowler in an auction in Kolkata.
The 26-year-old, ranked No.1 in Tests, attracted an intense bidding war between the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the Delhi Capitals on Thursday before Kolkata joined in to bag his services for the 2020 edition of the tournament.
Cummins was part of the Kolkata squad in 2014 and 2015 and last played in the tournament for Delhi in 2017. The Mumbai Indians picked him up the following season but he was ruled out with a back injury.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the most expensive overseas buy before Cummins when Pune paid 145 million rupees in 2017 while Yuvraj Singh, the hero of India’s 2011 World Cup triumph, got the highest bid for a home-based player of 160 million rupees ($3.2) in 2015 from Delhi.
A total of 62 players were sold at the auction for the 13th edition with the eight franchises spending a total of 1.403 billion rupees ($29 million).
There was a hefty payday for more Australians with Glenn Maxwell going to Kings XI Punjab for 107.5 million rupees ($2.1 million) and reigning champions Mumbai paying 80 million rupees ($1.6 million) for paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Maxwell recently returned to Twenty20 cricket after taking six weeks off from the game to deal with mental health issues and was left out of the Australia squad for next month’s limited-overs tour of India.
Australia’s one-day captain Aaron Finch joined Bangalore for 44 million rupees ($900,000) while England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan returned to his old side Kolkata for 52.5 million ($1 million).
“Two outstanding gentlemen will return to @KKRiders! @Eoin16 with his power middle order game & outstanding leadership help for @DineshKarthik & one of the game’s premier fast bowlers @patcummins30 who I feel was the best player on offer for this year’s @IPL auction Welcome boys!” the franchise’s new head coach Brendon McCullum said on Twitter.
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn twice went unsold before his former team Bangalore picked him up in the last leg at his listed price of 20 million rupees ($410,000.
Former India leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was the top buy among home-based players, going to MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings for 67.5 million rupees ($1.38 million), while Kolkata signed 48-year-old leggie Pravin Tambe, the oldest player in the auction.
HOW THE DEALS UNFOLDED FOR AUSTRALIA’S STARS
* $3.2 million – Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders)
* $2.2 million – Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)
* $1.6 million – Nathan Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians)
* $980,000 – Marcus Stoinis (Delhi Capitals)
* $900,000 – Aaron Finch (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
* $816,000 – Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
* $491,000 – Alex Carey (Delhi Capitals)
* $408,000 – Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)
* $408,000 – Mitch Marsh Sunrisers Hyderabad
* $408,000 – Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings)
* $204,000 – Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals)
* $41,000 – Chris Green (Kolkata Knight Riders)
* $41,000 – Josh Philippe (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Sean Abbott, Fawad Ahmed, Ashton Agar, Max Bryant, Dan Christian, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Moises Henriques, Matt Kelly, Ben Laughlin, Ben McDermott, Jack Prestwidge, Shaun Marsh, Riley Meredith, James Pattinson, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Matthew Wade, Jake Weatherald, Adam Zampa.
* Cummins’ deal is a record for an overseas player as part of an overall auction spend of $28.6 million on 62 players.
* The paceman’s deal also surpasses the previous best for an Australian of $2.5 million that belonged to Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals, 2019 auction) and David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2019 auction).