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Who are the World Cup stars that could fetch big IPL 2024 contracts?

Last updated on 25 Nov 2023 | 07:30 AM
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Who are the World Cup stars that could fetch big IPL 2024 contracts?

The 2023 ODI World Cup couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for some of the talents, given the IPL Auction for the 2024 edition is around

Mid-way through the 2023 ODI World Cup, a serious discussion was already underway on social media. It revolved around which Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise would want the services of Rachin Ravindra, the new New Zealand star in the town. 

Then it extended to someone like Afghanistan’s Azmatullah Omarzai, who showed his worth at his first global event in the 50-over format. That got us thinking: who are some of the (obvious) players that could fetch big IPL bucks at the upcoming Auction on December 19? 

Rachin Ravindra - New Zealand

Realistic Destination: RCB, GT, SRH

The 24-year-old New Zealand all-rounder became an overnight sensation after his swashbuckling century in the 2023 ODI World Cup opening game against England. It wasn’t just his 123* that stole the limelight, but the way he batted with intent against the defending champions. 

Ravindra’s game against pace is evident, with a strike-rate of 97.37, but his game against spin is perhaps one of the biggest differentiators for an overseas player in the IPL. Against spin, Ravindra averaged 141 at the ODI World Cup while striking at 117.99. 

While his bowling wasn’t overly used, the left-arm spinner picked up five wickets in the tournament and caused teams trouble or two with the ball. Given that he could be slotted wherever in the batting unit and can bowl, Ravindra could be the biggest gainer at the 2024 IPL Player Auction. 

Even Ravichandran Ashwin took note of his stocks. 

Travis Head - Australia

Realistic Destination: KKR, CSK, RR, PBKS

Travis Head is 29 and isn’t an unknown commodity in this market. If anything, Head’s abilities will be well known to all the franchises, given his performance across formats for Australia. But what sets Head apart from several others is his ability to take the attack to the opponents. 

In the ODI format, Head has maintained a career strike-rate of 102.61, which jumps to 140.67 in the shortest format. Not only did Head score a scintillating century against India in the final, he was also instrumental in Australia’s progress to the final with a vital half-century against South Africa in conditions that assisted spin. 

Head also has the golden hand with his off-spin, often striking gold for the team. Some of the batters that Head has dismissed in ODIs are Heinrich Klaasen (twice), Quinton de Kock, Babar Azam, Faf du Plessis, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Shakib Al Hasan, which shows you his worth with the ball. 

Azmatullah Omarzai - Afghanistan

Realistic Destination: SRH, CSK, LSG, KKR

There are already five notable Afghanistan players in the IPL - Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Fazalhaq Farooqi. But if this World Cup was a trailer, then that list will be bolstered with the addition of all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai

Omarzai was like a breath of fresh air in the Afghanistan unit, with his aggressive batting display and his ability to swing the new ball both ways. Omarzai is one of the only three players in the tournament to score over 200 runs and pick up five wickets alongside Glenn Maxwell and Glenn Phillips. 

READ: The story behind the rise of Azmatullah Omarzai

The all-rounder scored 353 runs, averaging 70.6, with a strike-rate of 97.78. Also, his ability to play spin well in the middle overs could potentially boost his chances of getting a big IPL contract. Combine that with his new ball abilities, you could have a future superstar. 

Daryl Mitchell - New Zealand

Realistic Destination: CSK, GT, RR

Again, Daryl Mitchell isn’t unknown. He’s even played the IPL for Rajasthan Royals, but not many people know. Across those two games, Mitchell could only manage 33 runs at a strike-rate of 75. But his game since then has improved multi-fold. Mitchell batted at No.4, a tricky position, and has aced it with ease. 

12 of the 22 sixes he scored in the World Cup were against spinners, with a strike-rate of 106.8. For the longest time, people viewed him as someone who was only good at the top of the order and against pace. But in the World Cup, he changed the outlook, with two hundreds against India - the only player apart from Head to score a century against India. 

There’s a lot of possibility that franchises could line up for the Kiwi all-rounder, given the genuine dearth of such bankable batters who can take down bowling from ball one.

Dilshan Madushanka - Sri Lanka

Realistic Destination: SRH, LSG, MI

One of the biggest breakthroughs in this World Cup was for Sri Lanka’s Dilshan Madushanka. In a team that constantly underperformed, Madushanka was in the limelight. Considering how left-arm pacers have become necessary for teams, Madushanka’s performance would surely have been closely noted by several franchises. 

Madushanka picked up 21 wickets in the tournament, averaging just 25, but what was more noteworthy was his ability in the powerplay, where he swung the ball both ways. The Sri Lankan bowler picked up nine wickets in the first ten overs, only behind Marco Jansen’s tally of 12 wickets. 

There is a good chance that the Sri Lankan’s campaign could be rewarded with a big IPL contract. 

Gerald Coetzee - South Africa

Realistic Destination: CSK, RR, KKR

“And Gerald Coetzee, I think, will be a sought-after commodity and might go for a decent amount of money in this mini-auction. Tear away fast bowler, a big lad, bowls in excess of 145-150, bowls aggressive bouncers and can hit a mean ball,” said Ravichandran Ashwin in an Instagram post. 

When someone of Ashwin’s calibre attests to a player's ability, they sure are bound to be supremely talented. Gerald Coetzee is someone to watch out for at this year’s IPL Auction. An aggressive all-rounder, Coetzee can clock up serious pace in the higher 140s and bowl the tough overs in the shortest format. 

At the ODI World Cup, the all-rounder picked up 15 wickets in the middle-over phase (11-40) in just eight clashes. His batting too, was on show in the tournament, with 54 crucial runs. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be well aware of his abilities, given that he already has played for the franchise’s sister teams - Texas Super Kings and Jo’burg Super Kings. 

Surprise Pick

Aryan Dutt - Netherlands

Aryan Dutt’s bowling was a real surprise at the ODI World Cup earlier in the month. Dutt was the Netherlands’ second most economical bowler in the campaign, with 10 wickets, averaging 42.6. But impressive was his control in the powerplay with the ball in hand, bowling 149 dot balls. 

Some of his scalps at this year’s competition were Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Steve Smith and Charith Asalanka, all of whom are quite capable batters of spin bowling. Dutt is also someone capable of hitting the long ball. He showed that in the famous South Africa clash in Dharamshala, where he smoked 23* off just 9 balls, smashing three massive sixes.

Him making it to the IPL might be a tall ask, but there’s a possibility that some franchise would want an off-spinner of that consistency.

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