England’s Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have all earned six-figure contracts in the Indian Premier League’s player auction.
Morgan, who led England to World Cup success in 2019, was auctioned for £563,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders, who are coached by Brendon McCullum.
Kolkata also made Australia’s Pat Cummins (£1.7m) the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer remain with Rajasthan Royals.
The England trio were not part of the auction after the franchise opted to retain them from last season’s squad. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were also retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.
‘Banton reminds me of KP’
Roy and Woakes both went to Delhi Capitals for their base price of £161,000, while Curran was bought by Chennai Super Kings for £590,000.
His older brother, Tom, was picked up by Rajasthan for £108,000, while Kings XI acquired T20 specialist Chris Jordan for £323,000 and Somerset batsman Tom Banton, who made his England debut in the T20s in New Zealand last month, was bought by Kolkata for £108,000.
Banton will link up there with Morgan and former New Zealand captain McCullum thinks he has got himself a bargain.
“Banton was the icing on the cake,” McCullum told India’s Star Sports. “He’s an excitement machine and reminiscent of Kevin Pietersen.
“He’s also a back-up wicketkeeper. We’re really excited to meet Banton. He will also enjoy playing alongside his England captain, which will be a motivating factor.”
But there were no takers for two members of England’s successful World Cup squad, pace bowlers Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett.
Knight Riders pin their hopes on pace of Cummins
Cummins, 26, is number one in the ICC Test bowling rankings and his pace and accuracy marked him out as a standout player in the auction.
Delhi and the Royal Challengers were both in for him, before the Knight Riders made their move.
At £1.7m, Cummins is the fourth costliest player in IPL auction history and the most expensive overseas signing, marginally surpassing the fee commanded by Stokes in 2017.
Only Yuvraj Singh in 2014 and 2015 and Gautam Gambhir (2011) have gone for more.
Other big money foreign purchases included Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who joined Kings XI Punjab for £1.15m.
Chris Morris, who was omitted from South Africa’s Test squad for the forthcoming series with England, was bought by Bangalore for £1.1m, along with Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch for £473,000 – his eighth different IPL franchise.
West Indies duo Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were also popular. Left-arm bowler Cottrell was a £914,000 purchase for Kings XI in his IPL debut, and Hetmyer will play alongside Roy and Woakes for Delhi after they signed him for £833,000.
Among those who went unsold were New Zealand duo Tim Southee and Martin Guptill and West Indies captain Jason Holder.
The 2020 edition, which begins in April, will be the 13th season of the IPL, which was won in 2019 by Mumbai Indians.