In a jaw-dropping turn of events at the IPL 2024 auction in Dubai, Australian pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins became the talk of the cricketing world as they fetched staggering amounts, setting new records in the process.
Mitchell Starc, in particular, created history by becoming the most expensive player in IPL history, commanding a bid of Rs 24.75 crore. This landmark bid came just minutes after his Australian compatriot and skipper, Pat Cummins, secured a hefty paycheck of Rs 20.50 crore. Kolkata Knight Riders, in a bidding war, presented an even more substantial salary package for Starc, who had last participated in the IPL back in 2015.
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra expressed his dissatisfaction with the astronomical price tags attached to the Australian pacers. He argued that such high bids are unfair, especially when compared to players of the caliber of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. Chopra suggested that players like Kohli and Bumrah, with the potential to break records, deserve more lucrative deals.
Chopra pointed out the staggering cost associated with Starc’s participation, stating that each ball bowled by him, assuming he plays all 14 games and bowls his full quota of 4 overs, would cost Rs 7,60,000. While acknowledging that everyone deserves good pay, he questioned the fairness of the vast disparities in remuneration.
The former cricketer proposed a potential solution to address this issue, recommending the implementation of a cap on the spending capability for overseas players. Chopra suggested a structured approach where a certain percentage of the team’s budget, say 1.5 or 1.75 out of a total of Rs 200 crore, is reserved for Indian players, with the remaining allocated to foreign players. This, he believes, would bring parity to the bidding process and address the current imbalance.
Chopra emphasized the need for loyalty in the IPL and speculated that if players like Kohli and Bumrah were to request release from their franchises, they could potentially fetch bids of Rs 42 crore and Rs 35 crore, respectively. He concluded by highlighting the existing disparity in the auction market and called for a fair and balanced approach to player valuations in the Indian Premier League.