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Indian Premier League 2024

World Cup recency bias and valuing international experience over potential: Four trends from the 2024 IPL auction

Mitchell Starc was a record-breaking purchase at the 2024 IPL auction
Yas Rana by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 3 minute read

The 2024 IPL auction has come and gone with Mitchell Starc’s move to Kolkata Knight Riders breaking the all-time record for the most expensive ever signing at the IPL. Here are four trends from the 2024 IPL auction:

World Cup recency bias on full display

Not one but two Australian World Cup winners broke the all-time record for the most expensive IPL signing at today’s auction with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc going for a staggering 45.25 INR crore (c. £4.3 million) between them.

Starc’s IPL numbers are excellent but he hasn’t featured in the competition in what will be nine years by the time he makes his KKR debut. His T20 appearances are, at best, sporadic having played just 38 matches in the format over the past eight years – there is no guarantee, despite all his obvious strengths, that he is a hit in 2024.


Cummins, meanwhile, is a known entity in the competition and boasts no better than a decent career IPL record. But both went for historic sums and no doubt the recent memories of the pair lifting the World Cup on Indian soil played a part in their value.

Perhaps the best example of World Cup performances inflating a players’ value is New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell who was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for a whopping 14 INR crore. Mitchell enjoyed a superb 2023 World Cup but will be 33 by the time the 2024 IPL begins and while he has developed into a dependable top order T20 batter, it would be a stretch to describe as one of the format’s elite hitters.

Elsewhere, Mitchell’s compatriot Rachin Ravindra was picked up – also by CSK – for the not-insignificant sum of 1.8 INR crore despite having no domestic or international T20 record to speak of.

Overseas spinners largely ignored

Not for the first time at an IPL auction overseas spinners had a tough day at the office. Such is the abundance of local spin talent, overseas spinners aren’t in high demand with the likes of Adil Rashid, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi and Akeal Hosein all overlooked. Wanindu Hasaranga was one spinner who was picked up but at a relative bargain of 1.5 INR crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are two franchises that look short on high quality spin and perhaps, in hindsight, could have dipped into the overseas slow bowler market.

A premium put on overseas experience

The other common dominator between Cummins, Starc and Mitchell are their respective ages – all three are in their thirties. The auction generally saw players who were known quantities on the international circuit valued higher than younger players who potentially possess higher ceilings.

Inexperienced quicks Spencer Johnson, Gerald Coetzee and Gus Atkinson all went for big money, but not quite on the same scale as, say, Tymal Mills did in 2017 when he became a millionaire overnight. Coetzee could feasibly have commanded an enormous fee given his age and impressive World Cup campaign, but was instead one of three inexperienced bowlers picked up by Mumbai around the 5 INR crore mark.

Big investments in young Indian talent

The same isn’t quite true for how the auction tended to treat young Indian talent. Several players, especially those with rarer skillsets like bowling left-arm pace, keeping wicket or being a renowned six-hitters, saw figures commanded that were at odds with the career numbers.

Delhi Capitals, for example, picked up the 19-year-old Kumar Kushagra for 7.2 INR crore, despite the wicketkeeper never having passed 35 in a professional T20 match. Similarly, left-arm quick Sushant Mishra was picked up for 2.2 INR crore despite having only made four T20 appearances, while 20-year-old Sameer Rizvi became the fifth-most expensive player on the CSK roster off the back of a destructive campaign in the regional Uttar Pradesh T20 competition.

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