Cricket fans pan Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc deals after $8 million IPL bonanza

The Aussie stars are a combined $8 million richer after snaring record-breaking contracts in the IPL auction.

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have both scored whopping contracts in the IPL. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Cricket fans and commentators are questioning the record-breaking deals handed to Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins at the IPL auction on Tuesday night after the Aussie stars snared a combined $8 million. Cummins capped off a massive year when he earned a whopping $3.67 million (20.5 crore) contract from Sunrisers Hyderabad, which made him the most expensive player in IPL history.

But that mark was shattered just moments later when Kolkata Knight Riders forked out a staggering $4.42 million to get Starc. The Aussie bowler hasn't played in the IPL since 2015, but has decided to end his hiatus to prepare for next year's T20 World Cup.

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Cricket Australia has encouraged players to take part in the IPL next year, leading Starc to return to the lucrative T20 competition for the first time in nine years. He has previously chosen to prioritise national duties and time at home with his family rather than chasing IPL riches.

He is thought to have missed out on around $15 million as a result, but the $4.42m payday will go some way to repaying his sacrifice. Cricket fans and commentators were left in disbelief over the $8 million handed to Starc and Cummins, however some have questioned whether the money is a smart investment.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have eight million reasons to smile. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

T20 cricket has never been Starc or Cummins' forte, with the Aussie bowlers more known for their exploits in Test and ODI formats. Cummins was somewhat underwhelming with the ball when he last played in the IPL in 2021, although he did produce a number of stunning displays with the bat.

Discussing the situation during Channel 7's coverage of the BBL match between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night, commentator Alister Nicholson asked: "Is that money well spent? He is a brilliant player, great captain. Would you pay that much for Pat Cummins to play T20 cricket for your side?"

Greg Blewett said Cummins' form in T20 cricket hasn't been that great, but suggested his leadership qualities may have been heavily desired. "With Patty, I think he said recently his T20 cricket hasn't been anywhere near as good as it should have been in recent years," Blewett said. "So, particularly the IPL. He's gone around the park most of the time. Whether they see him as an all-rounder. I don't think we necessarily see him at the best in the Australian colours. Leadership qualities. He brings a lot to the franchise."

Callum Ferguson added: "I was expecting him to go for a fair bit. That is a lot more. They might be thinking he learnt his lesson (from 2021), will only get better from here. I think you have got to say that is a surprise. But they are backing him to really produce over the next couple of seasons."

Social media was also flooded with comments from cricket fans questioning the enormous money being handed to Starc and Cummins. While the latter was all-round attributes, Starc will only really be used as a bowler. He will earn about $316,000 per game and an absurd $13,000 for every delivery he bowls (assuming he plays every game and bowls four overs in each).

Josh Hazlewood and Steve Smith unsold at IPL auction

Josh Hazlewood, the third prong of Australia's pace attack alongside Starc and Cummins, went unsold at the auction. But young gun Spencer Johnson went to the Gujarat Titans for $1.78 million.

Travis Head will join Cummins at Sunrisers Hyderabad on a $1.22 million deal, but Steve Smith was another Aussie overlooked. Smith has come into his own in T20 cricket in the last 12 months, producing a number of masterful knocks for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL. He's likely to be snapped up at a later date to prepare for the T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean.

Fellow Aussie stars Mitch Marsh, David Warner, Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Green and Glenn Maxwell had already been retained by their franchises before the auction. Wicket-keeper Josh Inglis, who helped Australia win the ODI World Cup, went in with a base price of $357,000 but also went unsold.

with AAP

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