IPL

England stars among eye-catching buys at 2023 IPL auction

By Sports Desk December 23, 2022

The Indian Premier League auction for the 2023 season is done and dusted, with some of the world's biggest players front and centre on Friday.

England's Sam Curran, the Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup, fetched a new record price when he was bought by Punjab Kings for 18.5 crore (£1.85million).

International team-mate Ben Stokes also brought in an impressive fee of 16.25 crore (£1.65m) from Chennai Super Kings, while Mumbai Indians landed Australia's Cameron Green for 17.5 crore (£1.75m).

Stats Perform runs through the standout deals of the day...

Sam Curran (Punjab Kings)

Having started his IPL career with Punjab in 2019, Curran is headed back after a stint with Chennai Super Kings and returns on the back of the best year of his career.

With 13 wickets at the T20 World Cup and huge batting potential, Curran is one of the most exciting purchases ahead of next year's tournament – as the price suggests.

Ben Stokes (Chennai Super Kings)

England's Test captain once again dug into his bag of tricks with a superb batting performance at the T20 World Cup to help his team beat Pakistan in the final.

Stokes heads to Chennai for a fee that matches the previous record set by Australia's Chris Morris last year, while his career IPL strike rate of 134.50 is indicative of a batsman who always goes big.

Cameron Green (Mumbai Indians)

The second-most expensive buy in the auction, it is little surprise Green commanded such an impressive figure given his huge 173.75 strike rate across eight T20I matches.

The Australia all-rounder was expected to figure near the top of the bidding, and he will hope to live up to his billing with Mumbai next year.

Kane Williamson (Gujarat Titans)

Williamson was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad, allowing him to enter the auction and be picked up at his base price of 2 crore.

Despite playing a role in Sunrisers' title success in 2016, that fee illustrates Williamson's diminishing returns since then, although Gujarat will hope this is a bargain deal.

Harry Brook (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

This has been a breakout year for Brook, who followed T20 World Cup glory with an impressive impact on the Test stage, dominating for England against Pakistan.

Back in the white-ball arena, Brook was briefly the most expensive specialist batsman in IPL history when signed for 13.25 crore (£1.325m).

Nicholas Pooran (Lucknow Super Giants)

Brook's record was short-lived as Pooran went under the hammer and sparked a bidding war.

Lucknow came out on top, paying out 16 crore (£1.6m) for his services and acquiring one of the most fearsome white-ball players around.

Josh Little (Gujarat Titans)

Ireland bowler Little saw his stock rise following a T20 World Cup where he took a hat-trick against New Zealand and helped inspire a shock triumph over England.

Little will become the first Irishman to play in the IPL after fetching 4.4 crore (£440,000).

Joe Root (Rajasthan Royals)

At last, one of the defining batsmen of his generation is headed to the IPL, with the former England Test captain finally selected to play in the world's premier T20 domestic competition after going unsold back in 2018.

Root, who did not play at the T20 World Cup, looked set for the same fate again, but a late one crore (£100,000) base price bid in an accelerated auction will take him to India next year.

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    Despite lacking the power of his big-hitting counterparts, Chase has proven that he can be effective in the game’s shortest format. Since his debut at the 2021 World Cup, he has so far played 12 T20Is for West Indies and has tallied 143 runs with a strike rate of 110.0, with 10 wickets for 212 runs to his name.

    The 32-year-old, who recently captained Windies 'A' team to a 3-2 series victory away to Nepal, and is currently serving as vice-captain to stand-in captain Brandon King for the regional side’s three-match warm-up series against South Africa, is confident in his abilities, regardless of what others think.

    “People may not necessarily know the intricate details that go into playing a cricket match. I'm not one of the big superstars that may hit the ball 100 metres or bowl at 90 miles per hour or take a five-wicket haul or anything like that, but I think I still play a key and vital role in the team,” Chase said in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview.

    “So people just tend to see me chipping in here and they say, 'Chase ain't no good.' But I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, and the coaches know what I can do. But at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion,” he added.

    With 49 Test matches to his name, Chase’s credentials in that format speaks for themselves, as he been a steady middle-order batsman since his 2016 debut. He is one of only four West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Garry Sobers, to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in a Test –a feat he achieved in his second Test, at Sabina Park.

    The Barbadian rose to prominence in T20s during the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, when he finished as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a tally of 446 runs and 10 wickets. He also assisted St Lucia Kings to the final –their second in CPL history –in that 2021 season.

    That performance resulted in his inclusion for the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he played the last three matches in West Indies' failed campaign as they were eliminated at the group stage. He next featured for the Windies in a 3-0 series loss away to India in February 2022, before being discarded from the T20 setup for just over a year.

    Now back in the team, Chase is determined to prove his worth, with both bat and ball, and his performance in Thursday’s opening warm-up contest against South Africa, underscored that much.

    The right-hander, who bowls off spin, played an anchor role in West Indies innings and scored an unbeaten 30-ball 32, before returning to take one wicket for 12 runs from two overs, in the 28-run win at Sabina Park.

    "I know that I don't have a lot of variations, so I just try to think as quickly as I can on my feet and I try to be as smart as I can, especially with the ball. I know my role is kind of the power-play bowler, so I think that's probably one of the hardest jobs outside of death bowling," Chase shared.

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    With the World Cup now exactly one week away, Chase pointed out that West Indies –who will co-host with the United States –need to fine tune their all-around approach against the Proteas.

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    Sunrisers Hyderabad impact player Shahbaz Ahmed set the tone as they held off Rajasthan Royals’ chase for a 36-run victory on Friday to reach the Indian Premier League final.

    SRH will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the showpiece after losing the opening qualifier against them earlier this week.

    The hosts originally struggled to get going as Travis Head was caught for 34 off 28 balls before Trent Boult took 3-45 in his four overs to put the Royals in control.

    Heinrich Klaasen crafted a fine 50 to get the Sunrisers back on track before they were forced into introducing Ahmed in the first innings, though it looked like that gamble might not pay off as he was taken in Avesh Khan’s impressive 3-27.

    SRH set a target of 176 for the Royals to chase, and Yashasvi Jaiswal raced to 41 off 19 balls – including three boundaries – before Abdul Samad caught him to halt their progress.

    Ahmed’s inclusion proved inspired as he took 3-23 in a ruthless bowling display from SRH, including a 33-ball period where they did not concede a single boundary.

    Dhruv Jurel salvaged some pride for the Royals as he scored 56 not out, but it was not enough to prolong their playoff run as they finished with 139-7.

    Data Debrief: SRH rising

    Head now has 402 runs in the powerplay in the IPL this year, becoming only the second batter to cross the 400-run mark in the powerplay in a single season in the competition (David Warner – 467 in 2016).

    Despite being on the losing side, Boult played a major role in trying to keep down the Sunrisers' run count. He has now taken 29 wickets in the first over in all IPL cricket (he has bowled the first over of a match 93 times).

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    In a bid to foster a deeper appreciation for cricket among the youth of the Caribbean, Cricket West Indies (CWI) provided tickets for students and teachers, as well as members of Jamaica’s age-group teams to enjoy the three-match series between West Indies and South Africa at Sabina Park.

    The initiative which CWI says forms part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. The regional body provided 2,685 tickets to students, 412 to teachers, and 198 tickets to players from the Under-15, Under-17 and Uner-19 teams, ensuring these young athletes have the chance to experience top-tier cricket action.

    The Schools Ticketing Programme, a central element of this initiative, is designed to immerse young minds in the thrill of cricket, offering them the opportunity to witness international matches and develop a lasting passion for the sport.

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    "We are keen to help revitalize cricket in Jamaica. Introducing the children to cricket is vital for the future of the sport in Jamaica and the entire region. By bringing students to these matches, we are not only providing them with an enjoyable experience but also nurturing an appreciation and love for cricket that can grow with them,” Shallow said.

    "This Schools Ticketing Programme initiative is about more than just watching a game; it's about creating a connection with the sport that can inspire future generations,” he added.

    Recently-elected Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Dr. Donovan Bennett, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and its potential impact.

    "We are thrilled to collaborate with CWI for this Schools Ticketing Programme. This initiative promotes cricket and instils values of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance in our young people," he said.

    "By exposing students to live cricket matches, they are getting a deeper understanding and appreciation for the game. This experience is invaluable for their personal and athletic development,” Dr. Bennett noted.

    West Indies won Thursday’s first game by 28 runs. The remaining two matches of the series are scheduled for Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at the same venue. Start time is 2:00pm.

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