The mini-auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is scheduled for December 23 in Kochi. The Board of Control for Cricket in India released the final list of players who will go under the hammer prior to the bidding process (BCCI). This time, the auction will feature 405 cricketers, including 273 Indians and 132 international players.
Notably, the IPL has always been a major platform for top-quality overseas stars, and many foreign cricketers have frequently appeared on the list of most expensive buys. The upcoming auction will be no different, as there may be several overseas players who spark a bidding war among the ten franchises. On that note, here are six cricketers who could be among the most expensive purchases in Kochi on December 23.
The main focus of franchises, as with any auction, will be on selecting quality all-rounders, who are always in demand due to their versatile role. All-rounders frequently command high prices at auction, and Cameron Green, the Australian sensation, is likely to be in the middle.
Green has already made an impression with his bowling debut, as he makes use of his tall stature to hit hard lengths. The 23-year-old is one of the few all-rounders capable of batting at the top of the order.
Following his exploits with the bat in India earlier this year, the swashbuckling Aussie star is expected to be a standout in the auctions. Notably, the Western Australian has registered his name in the lucrative tournament’s mini-auction at a starting price of INR 2 crore.
England’s superstar Ben Stokes is likely to spark a bidding war among IPL franchises, as every team requires a player who can not only contribute in all areas but also lead the team.
Having Stokes in the team solves many problems for any franchise because he can bat in the top order and finish. Furthermore, the England Test captain can open the bowling and deliver the death overs.
Stokes, who has a starting bid of INR 2 crore, will undoubtedly be a hot property at the mini-auction. The Christchurch native has played 43 games in the cash-rich league, scoring 920 runs, including two centuries and as many fifties, and taking 28 wickets at an 8.55 economy rate.
Every modern-day cricket team requires an explosive wicketkeeper-batter, and Nicholas Pooran excels at filling that role. That is why he was purchased for a high price in the previous auction, but his performance in the lucrative league was a major disappointment, and he was thus released by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Pooran had an average season last year, with 306 runs at an average of 38.25. However, he has regained his form in time for the IPL 2023. Notably, the left-handed batter led the way in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi T10 2022-23 tournament. For the Deccan Gladiators, he scored 345 runs in 10 matches at an average of 49.28 and a mind-boggling strike rate of 234.69.
Pooran has played 47 games in the lucrative league, scoring 912 runs at an average of 26.05 and a strike rate of 151.24, with four half-centuries. Pooran will undoubtedly be on the radar of franchises in need of a wicketkeeper and a quality top-order batsman.
England star Sam Curran has been a major talking point in the run-up to the mini-auction. The top-tier all-rounder has already demonstrated his ability to make an impact with both the ball and the bat, and he did so at the highest level in the T20 World Cup 2022. Curran was named Player of the Tournament and Player of the Match in the final of the global showpiece event in Australia, where England defeated Pakistan.
Aside from his all-round prowess, Curran’s biggest asset is that he is only 24 years old and has plenty of cricket left in him. He played two seasons for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), including the prestigious trophy-winning season in 2021 under MS Dhoni. The Northampton cricketer, however, missed the 2022 season while recovering from back surgery.
Curran is among the second group of players to be auctioned off, and every team will want to have him on their roster. In the IPL, the 24-year-old has 32 wickets from 32 matches with an economy rate of 9.21. The left-handed batter has 337 runs scored at a strike rate of 149.77, including two fifties.
England’s young star, Harry Brook, is a clean hitter, top-order batter, and an emerging talent in the cricketing world. Brook was named Player-of-the-Series in the seven-match T20I leg of his first international overseas trip to Pakistan, hitting 238 runs at a strike rate of 163.01. Even on the current Pakistan Test tour, Brook has been outstanding, scoring 468 runs in three matches at a stunning average of 93.60 with three hundreds and one half-century.
The biggest advantage Brook brings is that he can bat in any order and can dominate both fast bowlers and spinners with ease, especially in the death overs.
Brook has yet to play in the IPL, but his statistics in Asia are quite impressive. With one century and one fifty, the right-handed batter has scored 581 runs in 16 innings at an average of 64.55 and a strike rate of 167.43.
South African Rilee Rossouw has been extremely impressive and consistent in white-ball cricket since his return to international cricket in 2022 after a six-year absence. He was drafted into the national T20I squad after playing in the T20 Blast this year and scoring 623 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 192.28.
Rossouw has amassed 372 runs in 10 T20I innings at an average of 46.50, thanks to two centuries and three half-tons. The southpaw has the ability to bat long and could be a draw in the IPL 2023 mini-auction.
Rossouw has also represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the cash-rich league in 2014 and 2015. (RCB). However, he only played five matches and scored 53 runs. The free-striking left-handed batter would be an excellent choice for teams looking for a high-quality hitter at the top who can both accelerate the run flow and anchor the innings if necessary.