Sam Curran was one of the big winners at today’s IPL auction, picking up a contract worth 720 Lakhs (approximately £800,000) to join the Kings XI Punjab.
Curran, who is still only 20, enjoyed a breakthrough year in international cricket after making his England debut against Pakistan in June. He went on to win the Player of the Series award in England’s 4-1 series win over India later in the summer. After seven Tests, the young all-rounder averages 36.72 with the bat and just 25.14 with the ball.
Although he’s had a brilliant start to his Test career – England have won all seven Tests he’s played in – he is still uncapped in the shortest format. That said, despite his youth, he is still a fairly experienced T20 player, having made 47 appearances in the format. His T20 career statistics – a batting average of 15.93 and a bowling economy rate of 8.24 runs per over – are by no means extraordinary, but his exploits under pressure for England in the Test arena obviously attracted suitors in the IPL.
His likely availability for the whole tournament – he wasn’t selected for England’s white-ball series in the Caribbean nor is he likely to be involved in England’s World Cup plans – would have helped his case in the auction of some of his England teammates.
Jonny Bairstow was the first English player sold in the auction, joining the Sunrisers Hyderabad for 220 lakhs (approximately £245,000).
Alex Hales and Chris Woakes, who unlike Curran are in the England white-ball squads for the Caribbean tour, went unsold in the first round of bidding.