England’s Sam Curran snares player pay record at IPL auction – Sport

England all-rounder Sam Curran became the most expensive player bought by the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday when Punjab Kings paid 185 million rupees ($2.23m) to bring him back to his debut team.

The left-arm quick and attacking middle-order batsman was among a selection of the world’s top cricketers going under the hammer in this auction.

“Back to where it all started! Looking forward to it,” Curran wrote on Twitter.

His purchase set a local currency record, surpassing South African all-rounder Chris Morris who was snatched up by Rajasthan Royals for 162.5m rupees in 2021.

Morris’s deal was worth $2.25m at the time but the Indian currency has stumbled in recent months on the back of inflation and global economic headwinds.

Curran was Player of the Tournament in the T20 World Cup after his skills as a “death bowler” closing down opposition batsmen in the final overs turned him into a potent weapon for England.

The all-rounder debuted in the IPL with Punjab in 2019 and then had a successful stint with Chennai Super Kings but parted ways after a back injury and missed the 2022 edition.

Curran has a strike rate of nearly 150 and was placed in the top band of the auction list alongside big-hitting compatriot Ben Stokes and Australia’s Cameron Green.

“He is a world-class player. He will play in any world XI team, any of the top teams, he is that good,” said Kings director Ness Wadia.

“He is probably one of the best all-rounders in the world if not the best all-rounder. He brings a good balance to the team.”

Green was the second-most expensive buy after Mumbai Indians forked out 175m rupees ($2.11m) following an intense bidding war.

“I’m pinching myself that this has all happened. It’s such a weird feeling watching an auction for yourself,” said Green, in comments reported by Cricinfo.

“The Mumbai Indians are one of the powerhouses of the competition so I feel very humbled to be joining them.”

five-team women’s edition of the tournament next March, ahead of the next IPL season.

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