Gerald Coetzee one of the six IPL big-money buys

South Africa's Gerald Coetzee celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dunith Wellalage during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi

The 23-year-old Gerald Coetzee (pictured), who said he was excited to ‘play under (Hardik Pandya, and bowl with Bumrah, has taken 41 international wickets in all formats since his debut last year. Picture: Money Sharma/AFP

Published Mar 21, 2024


The 2024 Indian Premier League begins on Friday, starring some of the world's best cricketers.

AFP Sport highlights six who went for eye-watering sums at the player auction for the 17th edition of the richest Twenty20 league in the world:

Mitchell Starc (Kolkata Knight Riders)

The Australian is the most expensive buy in IPL history after Kolkata shelled out $2.98 million on the fast bowler and handy lower-order slugger.

Starc, a left-arm swing exponent with 358 Test wickets, returns to the IPL nine years after he played for Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Videos of the 34-year-old bowling in training for Kolkata have generated huge interest on social media.

Starc took 16 wickets in Australia's 50-over World Cup triumph, including three in the final against hosts India.

Pat Cummins (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Australia's World Cup-winning captain Pat Cummins will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in his first stint as an IPL captain after they paid $2.5 million for the 30-year-old fast bowler, an IPL auction record until Starc went under the hammer shortly after.

Former Australia pace bowling great Glenn McGrath said the hefty price tags would not impact Cummins or Starc "even one percent”.

Cummins led Australia to win the World Test Championship triumph last year where they also beat India in the final.

Daryl Mitchell (Chennai Super Kings)

The batting all-rounder was bought by the 2023 IPL champions for $1.6 million, a month after starring for New Zealand at the Cricket World Cup.

Mitchell, 32, rose to prominence by scoring two World Cup centuries against India -- in the group stage and in the semi-final.

The Super Kings are leaning heavily on New Zealand talent as they go for a record sixth IPL title in 2024.

They also have batsman Rachin Ravindra and spinner Mitchell Santner in their squad ahead of the opening match on Friday against Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Rovman Powell (Rajasthan Royals)

The hard-hitting West Indian was the first player to be sold in the auction in Dubai as Rajasthan Royals bid $890,000.

Powell scores at a strike rate of more than 144 in the middle order but his previous IPL record is moderate, with only 257 runs in two seasons.

He shone, however, in the Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Royals.

Gerald Coetzee (Mumbai Indians)

Gerald Coetzee's tearaway speed saw him finish as South Africa's leading bowler at the World Cup in India with 20 wickets in eight matches.

The displays led five-time champions Mumbai Indians to pay $602,000 for him to partner Jasprit Bumrah in a formidable pace attack.

The 23-year-old Coetzee, who said he was excited to "play under (Hardik Pandya, and bowl with Bumrah", has taken 41 international wickets in all formats since his debut last year.

Harshal Patel (Punjab Kings)

An IPL regular since debuting for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in 2012, the medium-pace raised eyebrows when he was the subject of a bidding war at the auction, ending up as the most expensive Indian player at $1.4 million.

The 33-year-old took 32 of his 111 career IPL wickets in an outstanding 2021 campaign, performances that led to an India debut later that year.

But he failed to cement a regular place in the national side, taking 29 wickets in 25 Twenty20 matches.

His last cap came on January 3, 2023 and he was released by Bengalaru last year.