NEW DELHI – Some of the world’s top cricketers will be among 405 players to go under the hammer at an auction on Friday for next year’s money-spinning Indian Premier League.
AFP looks at five stars who could get a fat pay cheque when the 10 franchises bid in Kochi ahead of the Twenty20 tournament due to start in late March.
BEN STOKES (ENGLAND)
The big-hitting left-hand batsman and dangerous right-arm seam bowler last played the IPL in 2021, when he left midway due to injury, and opted out of this year’s edition.
Stokes, 31, played a key part in England’s T20 World Cup triumph in November and this month led the Test side to a famous series victory in Pakistan.
He set an IPL record in 2018 when Rajasthan Royals bought him for $1.96 million in the auction and is currently listed in the highest base-price bracket at $246,000.
SAM CURRAN (ENGLAND)
The all-rounder 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 left-arm quick and attacking middle-order batsman 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 is placed, like Stokes, in the top band of the auction list, so Chennai and their warhorse captain MS Dhoni may want him back as they hunt for a fifth title.
CAMERON GREEN (AUSTRALIA)
Six-foot-six (1.98 metres) tall with a demon outswing, Green was initially picked as a fast bowler for Western Australia but has emerged as a fearsome batsman too.
The Perth Scorchers star, 23, made a big impression in India with his attacking batting on tour in September, when he struck 118 runs at a strike rate of 214.54 as an opener.
Compatriot David Warner warned Green that playing his maiden IPL on top of a busy 2023 that will include a tour of India, an Ashes and a World Cup, could be too much.
“It’s going to be a really tough year. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that. But it’s a really good opportunity, I think,” Green said.
NICHOLAS POORAN (WEST INDIES)
West Indies stars have long thrived at the IPL and left-handed batsman Pooran has played in leagues around the world, from Australia’s Big Bash to the Abu Dhabi T10.
The wicketkeeper-batsman stepped down as West Indies’ white-ball skipper after the team’s T20 World Cup debacle and was also released by IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad last month.
But with a T20 strike rate of over 141, Pooran is listed in the top bracket of players, including fellow West Indian Jason Holder, in the auction.
RILEE ROSSOUW (SOUTH AFRICA)
The left-hand batsman has been an impact player for South Africa, with his blazing T20 form including two centuries in October.
The 33-year-old demolished the Indian attack to give the Proteas a consolation win in Indore and blasted 109 to crush Bangladesh in a T20 World Cup group match.
He has been in demand in the T20 franchise circuit, but could never get going in the IPL in 2014 and 2015 before returning unsold ahead of this year’s season.