Pooran among big buys at IPL 2023 Draft

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Former West Indies white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran was sold to Lucknow Super Giants for a record US$1.93 million in the 2023 IPL Draft on Friday, the highest price ever paid for a specialist batsman in the Indian Premier League.

However, all-rounder Sam Curran was sold for a record price of US$2.2 million as the England all-rounder joined Punjab Kings.

Meanwhile, Jason Holder went to Rajasthan Royals and Odean Smith went to Gujarat Titans.

Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Lucknow Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals all got involved in the bidding for Curran, forcing the price up, before Punjab won out.

Sam Curran becomes most expensive player in IPL history

Sam Curran displays the ball after taking his fifth wicket (Photo: Getty Images)

Curran was outstanding in the T20 World Cup, taking 13 wickets – including 3-12 against Pakistan in the final last month.

There was a clamour for top-tier all-rounders, with Mumbai Indians landing Australia’s Cameroon Green for 17.5 crore (£1.75 million).

England Test captain Ben Stokes was wanted by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Lucknow, but it was Chennai who got him for 16.25 crore (£1.65 million).

That fee for Stokes matched the previous record for an IPL player, set when Rajasthan signed Chris Morris ahead of the 2021 competition.

New Zealand white-ball skipper Kane Williamson had been the first player available in the auction and went for a bargain 2 crore (£200,000), before a bidding war broke out for England’s Harry Brook.

Rajasthan were edged out as he went to Sunrisers for 13.25 crore (£1.325 million), the highest price ever paid in an Indian Premier League auction for a specialist batter before Pooran went under the hammer.

Pooran takes home more than a million dollars again

For a while, the fight for Pooran seemed to be a contest between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals, but once Super Giants swooped in with a bid nearing a million dollars, it became a two-team race between them and Capitals.

Pooran’s endured a mixed year as far as his international career is concerned. He was named Kieron Pollard’s successor as West Indies’ T20I captain but stepped down following a dismal T20 World Cup campaign where West Indies failed to make it out of the first round after losses to Scotland and Ireland.

He had a decent IPL 2022, though, being among the few notable performers in a disappointing season for Sunrisers. He made 306 runs including two fifties at an average of 38.25 and a strike rate of 144.33.

His power-hitting ability was most recently seen in the Abu Dhabi T10, where he was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his 345 runs, which came at an average of 49.28 and a phenomenal strike rate of 234.69.

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