The IPL 2024 auction came to an eventful close at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on Sunday, with franchises going all out to bid players for record prices. While Kolkata Knight Riders secured the services of Australia's Mitchell Starc for a whopping INR 24.75 crores (the most expensive signing of the season), his fellow Aussie teammate and World Cup-winning captain Pat Cummins was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 20.5 crores.
It was also a successful day at the office for Rajasthan Royals, who entered the bidding war with a purse amount of 14.5 crores and 8 slots to fill. In the first bid of the day, the Royals secured West Indies' Rovman Powell for INR 7.40 crores, prevailing over the Kolkata Knight Riders. Powell, the captain of the West Indies T20I team, brings a wealth of experience with 66 T20I appearances and a notable record of 1,202 runs, including a century and five fifties. Powell is already a familiar face in the Royals setup, as he also captains another franchise - the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
1:20 PM IST 💗 pic.twitter.com/YeW7v45wzb— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) December 19, 2023
Later in the day, the Royals continued their impactful spending by acquiring upcoming Indian batter Shubham Dubey for INR 5.8 crores. The middle-order batter from Vidarbha showcased his prowess in the 2023-24 Syed Mushtaq Trophy, amassing 221 runs in seven innings with a remarkable strike rate of under 190. Dubey played a crucial role in Vidarbha's historic chase of 213 against Bengal, contributing 58 off 20 balls, marking Vidarbha's highest-ever successful chase with 13 balls to spare.
You deserve this, Dubey. 💗 pic.twitter.com/DquZDw86dX— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) December 19, 2023
And as has been the case with the Royals unearthing lesser-known talent not just in India but from around the world, some more interesting names were added to the IPL 2024 Royals squad. Tom Kohler-Cadmore, the explosive English batter was signed for INR 40 lakh, along with South Africa's left-arm pacer Nandre Burger (50 lakh), who's been in the news for his performance in the ongoing ODI series against India. The Royals ended their bidding campaign with a final signing in 26-year-old all-rounder from Jammu, Abid Mushtaq (INR 20 lakh).
In a first, this year's auction was also witnessed live by fans from the venue, with the BCCI allowing every franchise to invite them. The Royals corner turned pink with supporters showing up in numbers, including excited students from the Royals' Dubai Academy who cheered on as the think tank engaged in intense bidding.
LIVE scenes: Dubai turning Pink 💗🔥 pic.twitter.com/EaEk69u3cv— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) December 19, 2023
Meanwhile in our home city Jaipur, it was heartening to see our Super Royals assemble and officially kick off the season with a special auction screening.
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Check out the full list of player signings.