Mitchell Starc, the renowned left-arm fast bowler, experienced a momentous evening as he became the most expensive player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions.
The IPL 2024 auction witnessed Starc being bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a staggering INR 24.75 crore.
This event marked a significant milestone in Starc’s illustrious career, surpassing the previous record held by Pat Cummins, his Australian teammate, who was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 20.5 crore.
Starc’s Journey to the Top Bid
On the day of the auction, Starc was at his home in Sydney, engaged in routine activities like mowing the lawn and walking his dogs, unaware of the historic evening ahead.
As the auction progressed, Starc, along with his wife Alyssa Healy, who was in Mumbai with the Australian women’s team, followed the event with bated breath.
The bidding war escalated quickly, with Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals initially vying for Starc, followed by an intense battle between Mumbai and KKR.
The Significance of Starc’s Comeback to IPL
Starc’s return to the IPL is noteworthy, considering his previous stints in the league. He played two seasons for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 and 2015 and was signed by KKR in 2018 but had to withdraw due to injury.
His comeback, marked by this record-breaking bid, signifies not only his prowess as a fast bowler but also the high expectations placed on him by KKR.
The Role and Expectations from Starc in KKR
Starc’s inclusion in KKR is seen as a strategic move, given his ability to bowl at speeds of 140-150 kph, generate both conventional and reverse swing, and deliver toe-crushing yorkers.
His left-arm angle adds a unique dimension to the bowling attack. KKR expects Starc to be a serial match-winner, contributing significantly with both ball and bat.
The Pressure and Excitement of Being the Top Buy
Starc, aware of the pressure that comes with the hefty price tag, remains grounded.
He acknowledges the expectations but is confident in his experience and ability to perform under pressure.
His focus is on delivering his best for KKR, drawing from his vast experience in international cricket, including World Cup campaigns.
The Future Ahead for Starc and KKR
Looking forward, Starc is excited about the new challenge and the opportunity to play in front of the passionate crowd at Eden Gardens.
His goal is to replicate his international success in the IPL, swinging the new ball, reversing the old, and targeting wickets.
As he prepares for the upcoming season, Starc’s addition to KKR is anticipated to bring a new era of success and excitement for the team and its fans.