In a significant IPL 2024 auction, Mitchell Starc, Australia’s left-arm quick, has made a triumphant return to the tournament after an eight-year hiatus. Kolkata Knight Riders secured Starc for a whopping Rs 24.75 crore, establishing a new record as the most expensive player in IPL history, surpassing the earlier record set by his compatriot and Australian skipper, Pat Cummins, signed by SRH for Rs 20.5 crore on the same day.
Starc, with a base price of Rs 2 crore, ignited a bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. The intense battle saw Kolkata Knight Riders entering the fray and eventually securing Starc’s services. Gujarat Titans also joined the bidding before Mumbai Indians withdrew at 9.8 crore.
The left-arm pacer’s inclusion in the IPL comes as part of his preparation for the T20I World Cup scheduled for June, underscoring the global significance of the IPL as a platform for international players to fine-tune their skills ahead of major tournaments.
Known for his ability to swing the ball at high speeds and execute variations in pace, Starc brings a valuable asset to the Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling arsenal. His last IPL appearance was in 2015 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he delivered an impressive performance, taking 20 wickets in 13 games with an average of 14.55 and an economy rate of 6.76.
However, since 2015, Starc has been absent from the IPL, citing various reasons, including injuries. Despite being signed by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 for Rs. 9.40 crore, he had to opt out due to injury concerns.
On the international stage, Starc’s T20I last featured more than a year ago during the T20I World Cup. With 73 wickets in 58 matches at an average of 22.91, Starc adds a formidable bowling presence to any team he represents.