The Indian Premier League has been instrumental in inspiring rags-to-riches stories since its inception in 2008. Franchises don't shy away from breaking the bank for the players they eye. The 2023 mini IPL auction has been no different, with the likes of Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and Cameron Green bagging astronomical deals.
Let's delve into the list of the most expensive buys in Friday's auction in Kochi.
Sam Curran - Rs 18.5 Crore
It's a happy homecoming for Sam Curran as he has become the most expensive buy in the history of the coveted league, bagging a Rs 18.5 crore deal with Punjab Kings, the team for which he played his debut season back in 2019.
Sam has been on the radar of the IPL teams, especially after his recent ICC T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament exploits. In the tournament, he picked 13 wickets at an average of 11.38 and an economy of 6.52.
The all-rounder who donned the Chennai Super Kings' colours in the 2020 and 2021 seasons would want to make a massive impact this season, justifying the hype. A player who can also hit the long ball, Sam has played 32 IPL matches in the three seasons of IPL he has featured in, stacking up 337 runs at a strike rate of 149.78 and picking 32 wickets at an economy of 9.21.
Cameron Green - Rs 17.5 Crore
Australian all-rounder Cameron Green was snaffled up by the Mumbai Indians for Rs 17.5 crore at the 2023 IPL auction, becoming the second-most expensive pick across all seasons. He pipped Chris Morris's figures of Rs 16.25 crore at the IPL 2021 auction.
Much like his contemporary Sam Curran, the 6.5 ft Aussie is among the most promising all-rounders going around. The pacer packs a punch with his ability to tonk the ball big and clock 140 kmph while bowling.
Green took India versus Australia 2022 T20I series by storm by scoring twin fifties- 61 off 30 deliveries and 52 off 21 deliveries. He is expected to replicate his gung-ho attitude in his IPL stint.
Ben Stokes - Rs 16.25 Crore
Chennai Super Kings shelled out Rs 16.25 crore to rope in all-rounder Ben Stokes in their squad, making him the third-most expensive buy ever. Stokes has also equalled Chris Morris's purse of Rs 16.25 crore in the 2021 auction.
The man who always delivers at the big stage was expected to attract bidders even if the popular belief said he was not as good in T20s like the other formats. The mercurial cricketer carried England home in the 2022 T20 World Cup final against Pakistan at the MCG with an unbeaten 52 against all odds. The right-hand quick picked six scalps at an economy of 6.79 in the showpiece event.
The England Test captain has 920 IPL runs at an average of 25.56 and a strikerate of 134.5. On the wicket column the figures read 28 wickets from 43 matches. The MSD-Stokes combo is a mouth-watering propostion for the cricket lovers.
Nicholas Pooran - Rs 16 Crore
Lucknow Super Giants bought Caribbean wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran for a whopping Rs 16 crore in the 2023 IPL auction, making him the fourth-most expensive purchase of this season.
Sunrisers Hyderabad opted for his service in the 2022 mega auction for Rs 10.75 crore, only to release him later before the mini-auction. His habit of blowing hot and cold led to his snub.
One of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball, Pooran's IPL numbers don't justify his talent. He has scored 912 IPL runs at an average of 26.06 and a strike rate of 151.24. A big IPL season from him is due. It's time to live up to the expectations!
Harry Brook - Rs 13.25 Crore
Harry Brook has been picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a lofty Rs 13.25 crore during the IPL 2023 mini-auction in Kochi on Friday, making him the fifth costliest buy of the evening.
Hailed as the "Virat Kohli of English Cricket", Brook has been one of the lynchpins of England playing Test cricket the Bazball way. Player of the Series in the recently concluded Test series against Pakistan, the 23-year-old sensation has piled up 468 runs from five innings at an average of 93.6 and a strike rate of 93.4.
Part of England's triumphant T20 World Cup squad, Brook will look to do justice to his price tag and name.