New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has wondered if any player, let alone Mitchell Starc, is worthy of Rs 24.75 crore that Kolkata Knight Riders decided to spend for the Australia pacer.
Starc has pulled out of IPL auctions in recent years to maintain his workload with an eye on his national commitments. But he made himself available in December for the auctions for its 2024 edition.
KKR got involved in a bidding war with Gujarat Titans for Starc and ultimately outbid them, making him the most expensive player in the tournament’s history.
Starc overtook the Rs 20.50 crore set by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Australia captain Pat Cummins and Gavaskar questioned the rationale behind such a huge price tag.
“Over the top, to be absolutely frank. I don’t think anybody is worth that kind of money. If Starc can make an impact and win maybe four out of the 14 matches that he plays, then you can say money’s worth. Then if he makes contributions in the other games – absolutely fantastic,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
The former opener added that such a huge price tag would bring pressure in Starc and he would need to produce match-winning spells in at least four of KKR’s 14 matches, including possibly in crucial matches against Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
If Starc is successful against these top top-class batting line-ups, then people could say that he was worth the money. The left arm quick helped Australia lift the 2023 ODI World Cup.
He claimed 16 wickets in 10 matches as Australia beat India in the final in Ahmedabad on November 19. Starc has earlier turned out for RCB in IPL 2014 and 2015 and was bought by KKR for Rs 9.40 crore in 2018 but pulled out with an injury.
He is expected to lead the two-time champions’ bowling attack from March 23, when the IPL begins this year.