IPL 2024 : Mitchell Starc returned to the IPL auction after a gap of five years, becoming the most expensive player in the history of the IPL auctions.
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has raised doubts about Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) decision to splurge Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2024) season. Starc re-entered the IPL 2024 auction after a five-year hiatus and emerged as the costliest player in the history of IPL auctions. KKR engaged in a bidding war with Gujarat Titans before finally securing the services of the Australian pacer for Rs 24.75 crore.
Expressing his views on Starc joining KKR, Gavaskar criticized the exorbitant price tag, stating that no player is worth that amount of money. “Over the top, to be absolutely frank. I don’t think anybody is worth that kind of money. If Starc can make an impact and win maybe four out of the 14 matches that he plays, then you can say money’s worth. Then if he makes contributions in the other games – absolutely fantastic,” remarked Gavaskar on Star Sports.
Gavaskar emphasized that Starc would need to deliver match-winning performances against formidable teams like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). “He has got to bowl match-winning spells in at least four out of the 14 matches, and maybe the crucial matches against the Mumbai Indians, the Chennai Super Kings, and RCB because these three have top-class batting lineups. Bowl those teams out, and you could even then say – money’s worth,” he added.
Starc’s return to the IPL comes after a gap of eight years. The last time he played in the IPL was for RCB in 2014 and 2015. Despite being bought by KKR in 2018 for INR 9.40 crore, he couldn’t participate due to an injury.
In the previous IPL auction held in Dubai, Starc became the second player to breach the 20-crore mark, following his teammate Pat Cummins, who was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 20.5 crore on the same day.
Starc, a crucial part of Australia’s ODI World Cup-winning team last year, claimed 16 wickets in 10 matches. He showcased his bowling prowess in earlier editions of the IPL, particularly in 2014, where he took 14 wickets in 14 matches, and in 2015, amassing 20 wickets in 13 matches with an outstanding average of just 14.55, including his best figures of 4/15.