Sam Curran has been confirmed as one of 18 English players who will feature in next week’s Indian Premier League auction, with the Surrey all-rounder expected to be in high demand after a breakout year in international cricket.
The home World Cup in 2019 reduces the availability of England’s one-day players to just the first four weeks of the IPL that starts on 29 March, meaning a number of the more established names may go unsold in Jaipur next Tuesday.
Indeed Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, who both went unsold last year, have not entered the process at all, as the two England captains look to focus on a jam-packed year that also includes an Ashes campaign for the latter.
But Curran, who shot to prominence during the summer’s 4-1 Test series win over India, is expected to be free for the entire Twenty20 tournament, with his omission from the one-day squad to tour the Caribbean suggesting he is not currently in England’s World Cup plans.
And while the 20-year-old has set himself at the highest base price of £220,000, a number of franchises including Royal Challengers Bangalore –the team captained by India’s Virat Kohli – are known to have been impressed by his all-round talents.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were both retained by Rajasthan Royals, as was David Willey at Chennai Superkings and Moeen Ali at RCB. But Alex Hales, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood were all released by their respective sides and, along with the previously unsold Jonny Bairstow, will hope a lack of availability does not count against them this time.
England’s World Cup preparations begin with a one-off ODI against Ireland in Dublin on 3 May and all squad members must report back by 25 April. Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett, who played in this year’s IPL but were also set free, have decided to start the English summer at Surrey. Adil Rashid has also opted out.
Joe Denly, who was named in England’s ODI squad to face West Indies at the expense of Liam Dawson, is another to put his name forward. Out of the county hopefuls, a name to look out for when the bidding gets under way will be Pat Brown, of Worcestershire.
The 20-year-old right-arm seamer, who possesses a deceptive knuckle-ball, finished up leading wicket-taker as the Rapids won this year’s T20 Blast under the captaincy of Moeen; with a base price of just £40,000, he could well attract interest.
English IPL auction hopefuls Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Lewis Gregory, Luke Wright, Liam Dawson, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Harry Gurney, Samit Patel, Chris Jordan, Joe Denly, Mark Wood, Steven Finn, Tymal Mills, Pat Brown, Liam Livingstone, Laurie Evans, Jamie Overton