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Sam Curran becomes most expensive player in IPL history in £1.85m deal

Sam Curran became the most expensive player in IPL history on Friday with Punjab Kings agreeing to pay £1.85m for the England all-rounder’s services.

Curran starred in England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign this year, picking up the player of the tournament award after collecting 13 wickets, including a spell of three for 12 against Pakistan in the final. On a day of big spending at the IPL auction in Kerala, the all-rounder sparked a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals among the teams vying for his services before Punjab came out on top, agreeing a fee which eclipses the £1.6m Rajasthan paid for the South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris in 2021.

Stuart Broad of England celebrates
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“He’s a world-class player,” said the Punjab Kings team director Ness Wadia of his record signing. “He’d play in any world XI, in any of the top teams, he’s that good. He’s probably one of the best all-rounders in the world, if not the best.”

Harry Brook, player of the series in England’s recent Test tour of Pakistan and another of England’s World Cup winners, also commanded a seven-figure fee with Sunrisers Hyderabad paying £1.3m.

“He’s young, he’s exciting, he loves finishing games off and that’s something that any team would want, said the Sunrisers head coach, Brian Lara. “Yes, it’s his first IPL but he has played in Asian conditions, he loves Asian conditions, and I believe he’s going to be one of the most valuable players in the future.”

The England Test captain Ben Stokes joins Chennai Super Kings for £1.6m, where he will be teammates with Moeen Ali, who is among several England players to be retained by their franchises. Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, David Willey and the England T20 captain Jos Buttler also remain with their 2022 teams.

Lower down the scale there were also deals for more of England’s T20 World Cup winners – opener and wicketkeeper Phil Salt (£200,000 to Delhi Capitals), spinner Adil Rashid (£200,000 to Sunrisers Hyderabad) and fast bowler Reece Topley (£190,000 to Royal Challengers Bangalore).

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