England cricketer Sam Curran has become the most expensive auction purchase in Indian Premier League (IPL) history – after being sold to the Punjab Kings for 18.5 million rupees ($2.22 million).
Several records were broken at Friday’s auction, held in the Indian city of Kochi – with English and Australian cricketers being the main beneficiaries.
Six franchises have bid ahead of the Punjab Kings’ record-breaking transfer fee for 24-year-old Curran.
In response to the news, Curran tweeted: “Back to where it all began! Look forward to something.”
He previously played for the Punjab Kings in the 2017 IPL season under the team’s former name, Kings XI Punjab.
Other big auction buys included Australian cricketer Cameron Green, who sold for $17.5 million (approx.
Launched in 2007, the IPL is one of the most valuable sporting venues in the world – attracting the best cricketers with big-money contracts.
The tournament lasts just over two months a year, but its value to media outlets has skyrocketed as global audiences have exploded.
In terms of cost per game, it has overtaken the English Premier League and ranks behind only the National Football League in the United States.
It sold its media rights for $6.2 billion from this year through 2027 – split between television rights (bought by Star India, which Disney owns) and streaming rights (bought by Viacom18, a joint venture between Paramount and Reliance Industries from Mukesh Ambani).
The 2023 season starts on March 20th and runs until May.