Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow led the way for England cricketers at the Indian Premier League 2019 auction, grabbing lucrative deals with Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.

Curran, one of the breakthrough stars in international cricket this season, was the biggest overseas buy at the event, at INR 7.2 crore, and continued to bask in his fortune. “What a year!” he tweeted, echoing the thoughts of everyone watching his success, before going on to thank Surrey Cricket.

Bairstow, who went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction, was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 2.2 crore, declared himself “delighted”.

Meanwhile, even as players such as Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes and Alex Hales went unsold, the likes of Harry Gurney, Joe Denly and Liam Livingstone, who are not part of the England squad, were snapped up by franchises. They will, after all, be available for longer than the English ODI players, who have a World Cup to prepare for.

Gurney told ESPNcricinfo he was getting ready to celebrate his anniversary when he found out that was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders.

“[I] walked into the kitchen, and my wife stood there and said: ‘You’ve been sold!’ I was ecstatic – my phone’s gone berserk with calls, texts, WhatsApps, Twitter notifications and all that,” he said.

Gurney, a left-arm pacer who stands at 6’2”, has represented England in 10 ODIs and two T20Is. The 32-year-old realizes the magnitude of being drafted into the IPL, saying he has now “ticked off most of the things you can achieve in the game of cricket”.

“Everyone I know who has been to the IPL talks about how big, how huge the whole thing is,” he gushed. “It’s undoubtedly the biggest T20 competition in the world, and arguably the pinnacle of the T20 game.

“I feel like I’m getting towards the point where, other than Test cricket, I’ve ticked off most of the things you can achieve in the game of cricket, which is just so humbling.

[breakout id=”0”][/breakout]

“If I end up pulling on an England shirt again in the T20 format then that’d be a fantastic offshoot of the main target but I want to get into franchise cricket, give a good impression, and hopefully keep doing that for a few years.”

A total of 19 English cricketers went under the hammer in the IPL auction. Jos Buttler (RR), Moeen Ali (RCB) and Ben Stokes (RR) were among those retained by their franchises.