Four years ago, Sam Curran was purchased for a whopping 7.20 crore by Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) when the all-rounder was still a rookie, but despite a promising debut season — 10 wickets, including a hat-trick, and a few cameos with the bat — he was let go ahead of the 2020 season by the Kings.
But the following three years saw Curran attain stardom through his performances for the Chennai Super Kings and England and at the auction table in December, the Kings shelled out 18.50 crore for the 24-year–old.
It’s been nine years since Punjab Kings last reached the playoffs, and the franchise is yet to land a title since IPL’s inception, but Curran is hopeful that he can change PBKS’ fortunes in his second stint with the franchise.
"I had two great years at Chennai. Punjab haven’t won it yet, but hopefully I can change those fortunes. I am just trying to enjoy it and take it one game at a time,” Sky Sports quoted Curran as saying.
Player of the Tournament in the 2022 T20 World Cup, which was won by England, Curran, at the IPL auction four months ago, became the most expensive player in the competition’s 15-year history.
The Kings have put enormous faith in Curran and the all-rounder did justice to his price tag in PBKS’ second match against Rajasthan, holding his nerve at the death to bowl the side to a five-run victory.
He admits there’s little he can do about the price tag and is largely unbothered by the ‘18.50 crore signing’ tag that hangs over him.
"I guess they buy you for a reason and they’ve put a lot of faith in me. I don’t put too much pressure on myself and focus on bat and ball," he said.
"Hopefully I can show some good performances. The price tag is what it is.”
Punjab play their third game of the season against Sunrisers in Hyderabad on Sunday. A victory will propel them into the Top 2.