Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has questioned the Punjab Kings (PBKS) for retaining all-rounder Sam Curran for a huge sum heading into the IPL 2024 auction. Curran, who was bought for ₹18.50 crore at the IPL 2023 auction, was among Punjab Kings’ 17 retentions before this year’s auction. The IPL 2014 finalists then released seven players before the auction, with Shahrukh Khan (₹9 crore) being the only big-ticket player they let go as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “I was extremely surprised. Why did you retain Sam Curran? They have parked 18.50 crore rupees in one place. I won’t call him a non-performing asset but a very expensive asset for sure. He was sold for 18.50 crore rupees because there were only three all-rounders in the small auction. However, if you see his performances in the last IPL, the SA20 now, or the last year, he hasn’t done anything special for the last 12-17 months. He just played well in the 2022 T20 World Cup and that too because the side boundaries were very big in Australia.”
However, Sam Curran had a poor show in IPL 2023, claiming 10 wickets in 14 games which came at an economy rate of 10.22. However, he performed well with the bat, scoring 276 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 135.96 as well. And, Aakash Chopra questioned whether Trevor Bayliss’ presence as the head coach made the Punjab Kings retain Sam Curran as well.
“He should have been released. If you wanted, there was a buyback option available. You could have got him back for half the price or even cheaper, but Punjab said they would keep him with them. Is that the Trevor Bayliss connection? I don’t know, I am just contemplating,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “Why you let Shahrukh Khan go – I have got no idea whatsoever because you gave him few chances. He did well in whatever opportunities you gave him but you let him go. They decided to take a different path.”