Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has expressed scepticism over Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) whopping bid of INR 24.75 crore for Mitchell Starc in the recent IPL auction. Gavaskar deemed the amount excessive, emphasizing that no player merits such a hefty sum. While acknowledging Starc’s potential impact, Gavaskar insisted that for the Australian pacer to justify the expense, he must deliver match-winning performances in at least four out of the 14 matches, particularly against formidable opponents like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Speaking on Starc’s return to the IPL after a five-year hiatus, Sunil Gavaskar highlighted the necessity for him to produce game-changing spells against the top-tier batting lineups of rival teams. Starc’s auction price surpassed the 20-crore mark, making him the most expensive player in IPL history, following his successful stint with Australia in the 2023 ODI World Cup where he claimed 16 wickets in 10 matches.
Sunil Gavaskar expressed skepticism about the astronomical sum spent on Starc, stating, “Over the top, to be absolutely frank. I don’t think anybody is worth that kind of money.” He suggested that Starc would need to deliver match-winning performances in a significant portion of the matches, particularly against formidable teams like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), to justify his price tag.
“He has got to bowl match-winning spells in at least four out of the 14 matches, and maybe the crucial matches against the Mumbai Indians, the Chennai Super Kings, and RCB, because these three have top-class batting lineups. Bowl those teams out and you could even then say – money’s worth,” Sunil Gavaskar emphasized.
Gavaskar conveyed his skepticism on the value for money, suggesting that Starc needs to make a significant impact by winning matches for KKR to justify the substantial investment. The cricket icon questioned the logic behind such astronomical sums and stressed that consistent performances against top teams would be the only way to validate the record-breaking auction price.
Mitchell Starc last participated in the IPL in 2015 for Royal Challengers Bangalore, having missed the 2018 season due to injury after being bought by KKR. His return to the IPL comes after an eight-year hiatus, and KKR’s substantial bid signals high expectations for the Australian pacer in the upcoming season.