CNN

England cricketer Sam Curran has become the most expensive auction buy in Indian Premier League (IPL) history – after being sold to the Punjab Kings for Rs 18.5 crore (2.22 million of dollars).

Friday’s auction, which took place in the Indian city of Kochi, saw several records broken – with England and Australian cricketers being the main beneficiaries.

Six franchises made an offer for the 24-year-old Curran before the Punjab Kings record fee.

Responding to the news, Curran tweeted, “Back to where it all started! I can not wait to be there.

He previously played for Punjab Kings in the 2017 IPL season under the team’s old name, Kings XI Punjab.

Other big buys at auction include Australian cricketer Cameron Green, who joined the Mumbai Indians franchise for 17.5 crore (about $2.1 million) and England men’s Test captain Ben Stokes, who has was bought by the Chennai Super Kings franchise for 16.25 crore (about $1.95 million).

Launched in 2007, the IPL is one of the most valuable sporting properties in the world – attracting top cricketers on big-money contracts.

The tournament lasts just over two months a year, but its value to media companies has skyrocketed as global viewership has exploded.

In terms of cost per game, it has overtaken the English Premier League and ranks behind the National Football League in the United States.

It sold its media rights this year through 2027 for $6.2 billion – split between TV rights (bought by Disney-owned Star India) and streaming rights (bought by Viacom18, a joint venture between Paramount and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries).

The 2023 season will start on March 20 and run through May.

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