Sam Curran could rake in record-breaking moolah in IPL auction: Gayle

NEW DELHI: West Indian T20 legend Chris Gayle has put his money on Englishman Sam Curran ahead of his countrymate Ben Stokes, Australia’s Cameron Green and India’s Mayank Agarwal in the Friday’s IPL mini-auction in Kochi.
Gayle backed England all-rounder to be the most expensive player in the history of IPL auction since he is young and IPL franchises tend to look to the future in addition to the availability of the player during the season.
Gayle also feels that Stokes, Green and Agarwal could also attract million dollar deals. Now retired Chris Morris is the most expensive player till date with the Rs 16.25 crore he fetched in 2021.
“I don’t know why they are calling those names just give me the money man (laughs),” said Gayle in his inimitable style in an interaction with PTI arranged by Jio Cinema ahead of IPL auctions.
“I am going to pick Sam (out of all). He is young and IPL tends to look to the future and you have to look at availability. He has had a good run of late. Stokes played well in the World Cup final.
“It is a possibility there will be some record breaking deal tomorrow. Don’t be surprised if someone goes over the 16 or 17 crore barrier.”
All-rounder Curran was Player of the Tournament in the T20 World Cup after his skills as a “death bowler” closing down opposition batsmen in the final overs turned him into a potent weapon for England.
The left-arm quick and attacking middle-order batsman had a successful stint with Chennai Super Kings but parted ways after a back injury and missed the 2022 edition.
Curran has a strike rate of nearly 150 and is placed, like Stokes, in the top band of the auction list, so Chennai and their warhorse captain MS Dhoni may want him back as they hunt for a fifth title.
He would also like to see more consistency from Stokes in the IPL.
“Regardless of his leadership abilities, he brings a lot to the table,” said, one of the greatest T20 players of all time, Gayle.
On his playing future, Gayle said he plans to play in a few tournaments in 2023.
“I am still active, fresh, good looking, I have the best body in the world. My playing future will always look bright till I am 50 (laughs). I am on a break but would look to play in a few tournaments next year.”
Gayle said IPL owes a lot to his longtime West Indies teammates Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who will be seen in a coaching role this IPL.
“They are two legends of the IPL, they will be missed a lot. They helped the IPL become what it is today. You got to give them credit, those two guys won so many championships.
“It is going to leave a gap in the IPL without a doubt. Those guys are proper entertainers.
Andre Russell can be that man to carry on the West Indies legacy in the IPL. Hopefully we can see the real Nicholas Pooran. he hasn’t delivered in the IPL as per expectations from teams and fans. He has been very explosive in other tournaments but we want to see that on the big stage,” added Gayle.
(With inputs from PTI)

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