As many as 132 overseas cricketers will be up for grabs in the IPL 2023 auction to fill up a total of 26 slots in the 10 teams — here is the list of players who could fetch the highest bid.
Nineteen foreign players have put their base prices as INR 2 crore, but not all are likely to be picked by teams. A few are expected to break the highest ceiling, and we take a look at five cricketers who would be in demand.
Ben Stokes – England
Stokes missed the 2022 edition of the IPL after being released by Rajasthan Royals to manage his workload, but will be up for grabs for the 2023 edition. The England Test captain is an all-rounder in the truest sense of the word, with the ability to bat either in the top or middle order. He is also an effective bowler both in the powerplay and at the death. Stokes is also a fielder par excellence, and also brings with him leadership experience.
Born in Christchurch, Stokes has played 43 IPL games thus far, accounting for 920 runs and 28 wickets, and was named the MVP in 2016. He has been in excellent form of late. He played a crucial role in England’s T20 World Cup win last month, steering the team through a tricky run chase of 138, remaining unbeaten on 52 off 49 balls.
The star of England’s Golden Summer of 2019, Stokes excels under pressure and could even end up being the most expensive player in the history of the IPL in the upcoming auction.
Nicholas Pooran – West Indies
Pooran has not been in the best of forms of late, striking at just over 130 in T20Is this year, but there is no denying his skills. An aggressive middle-order bat who also keeps wicket, he has a T20 strike rate of 141 with one hundred and 27 fifties. He has played 256 games around the world and comes with plenty of experience.
Pooran stepped down as West Indies captain in the aftermath of this year’s disastrous T20 World Cup campaign. That will allow him the freedom to focus on his batting. Bought for INR 10.75 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad last year, he scored 306 runs at a strike rate of 144, but was released ahead of the auction. He responded with 345 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 235 in the Abu Dhabi T20 League.
Pooran’s ability to keep wickets should interest the franchises.
Sam Curran – England
The Player of the Tournament at this year’s T20 World Cup, Curran is a nomination to break the all-time most expensive player record when his name comes up in the IPL 2023 auction on Friday.
He impressed at the death, bowling fast bouncers and bamboozling batters with his variations. He ended with 13 wickets in the tournament, including a spell of 5-10. He has also struck at 150 across 32 IPL games. Only 24, he has plenty of cricket left in him, which further works in his favour.
Curran played for Chennai Super Kings for two years after turning out for Punjab Kings, for whom he also completed a hat-trick. With performing all-rounders always in high demand, the younger Curran brother is expected to break the bank.
Rilee Rossouw – South Africa
Rossouw was unsold in the IPL 2022 auction but is expected to fetch big bucks this year after several blazing knocks this year. Playing his first T20I after six years, he announced his comeback in style with an unbeaten 55-ball 96. He then got two consecutive ducks, then two consecutive hundreds, including 109 against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup to become the first South African with a century in the event.
He had earlier made an unbeaten 100 against India, and with players who perform against the country always in huge demand, Rossouw can be a top pick. He strikes at 176 this year, and his big-hitting will be helpful in particular if the proposed substitute rule is to be implemented in IPL 2023.
Cam Green – Australia
Green quick uses his height well to extract bounce. He can also bat up the order, making him a utility player to have in the XI. Having set himself at a base price of INR 2 crore, Green has a T20I strike rate of 174 and has also picked up five wickets in eight games.
He burst onto the scene during his Test debut against India, and there has been no stopping him since. He brings versatility to any team and should end as one of the most expensive buys.