Cameron Green, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes were the top three earners in the IPL 2023 Player Auction held in Kochi on Friday. Image Credit: SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Dubai: World Cup-winning England players Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Harry Brook were among the top earners in the Indian Premier League 2023 Player Auction. Australian all-rounder Cameron Green and Nicholas Pooran also joined the top-grossers category, while former opener Mayank Agarwal was the lone Indian to come close to the overseas players.

All-rounder Sam Curran, who emerged as the Player of the Series in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, was rewarded for his stunning show during England’s title win as he became the most expensive player in IPL history after being roped in by Punjab Kings for Rs185 million.

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.

Home coming

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

The top two, Curran and Green, have earned more than the previous best while Stokes, who will rejoin Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings, has equalled South African all-rounder Chris Morris at Rs162.5 million as the third-highest earner.

“These three are private jet category players,” former West Indies left-handed batter Chris Gayle said during JioCinema show. “I am not surprised with Curran getting the highest bid in the auction considering the high demand for premium fast-bowling all-rounders.” The left-arm pacer will join his England compatriots Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone in the Punjab squad.

From left: Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran have redeemed themselves with new deals while Harry Brook is set to play in his first IPL season. Image Credit: AP and Sportzpics for IPL

Australian Green has been rewarded for his stunning attack against India in the third Twenty20 at Hyderabad in September and is expected to fill the void left by the retirement of Kieron Pollard. The Australian all-rounder is also capable of delivering impressive spell towards the end, something that must have fuelled the five-time champions’ need to go after him until the end.

Top 10 picks:
Sam Curran Punjab Kings 185 million
Cameron Green Mumbai Indians Rs175 million
Ben Stokes Chennai Super Kings Rs162.5 million
Nicholas Pooran Lucknow Super Giants Rs160 million
Harry Brook Sunrisers Hyderabad 135 million
Mayank Agarwal Sunrisers Hyderabad 82.5 million.
Shivam Mavi Gujarat Titans Rs60 million
Jason Holder Rajasthan Royals rs57.5 million
Heinrich Klaasen Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs52.5 million
Mukesh Kumar Delhi Capitals Rs55 million

Exactly what we need

Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani (on Cameron Green) tweeted: “He’s a player we’ve tracked & we think he’s exactly what we need.”

The arrival of Stokes to Chennai must have given the Whistlepodu fans plenty to cheer about as his arrival could not have come at a better time. With Dhoni playing his final season, Stokes could become the logical successor for the four-time champions and also a perfect replacement for Twenty20 specialist Dwayne Bravo.

Hence, the Yellove had to break their bank to get their prize catch, Stokes, who will combine with his England whiteball vice-captain Moeen Ali. Stokes and Dhoni played together at Rising Pune Giants in 2017.

Top 10 remaining unsold
Chris Jordan
Travis Head
Dawid Malan
Mohammad Nabi
Rassie van der Dussen
Jimmy Neesham
Adam Milne
Tabraiz Shamsi
Mujeeb Ur Rehman
Rehan Ahmed.

Brook's reputation

Brook’s reputation has preceded him as the England top-order batter received a whopping Rs135 million from Sunrisers Hyderabad for his debut season. The former champions have offloaded most of their overseas players including skipper Kane Williamson and Nicholas Pooran and with legend Brian Lara taking over the helm of affairs, Brook will have the chance to sharpen his skills under the West Indian.

It was a redemption of sorts for Pooran, who joined Lucknow Super Giants for Rs160 million despite not having a great year with Sunrisers, while former Indian opener Mayank Agarwal has been roped in place of Williamson, with the New Zealander moving to Gujarat Titans.

Former England skipper Joe Root is set to make his IPL debut after being picked by Rajasthan Royals towards the end of the day when more than 405 players were up for grabs at Friday’s auction in the southern city of Kochi. Root, who is looking to develop his game in the shortest format, will join his whiteball skipper Jos Buttler. Uncapped Indian pacers Shivam Mavi joins Gujarat Titans for Rs60 million, while Bengal all-rounder Mukesh Kumar will be at the Delhi Capitals dug out for Rs55 million.