Uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Kushagra of Jharkhand was the most expensive buy for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 auction that took place on December 19 in Dubai.
The DC team management also picked hard-hitting batsman Harry Brook for Rs 4 crore along with Australian pace bowler Jhye Richardson for Rs 5 crore and West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope for Rs 75 lakh.
The bidding war for Kushagra, who has taken eight catches and effected one stumping in 11 T20s, was intense between Gujarat Titans and Delhi Capitals with the latter finally acquiring him.
“The Delhi Capitals have always given a platform to youngsters. We backed players such as Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer before they started playing T20 cricket. And Kumar is another player we have decided to support and hopefully, he’ll do the job for us,” said DC assistant coach Pravin Amre to the press.
Delhi Capitals seemed to focus on wicketkeeper-batsmen in this year’s auction while also eyeing the return of Rishabh Pant, who met with an accident a year ago and hasn’t played for the last one year. Pant is part of the DC squad but talks about his leaving the franchise is gaining ground.
The Delhi Capitals also acquired South African wicketkeeper-batsman Tristan Stubbs for Rs 50 lakh. Stubbs, who is 23, has scored 1,119 runs in 59 T20s at a strike rate of 147.23.
The experienced Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Ricky Bhui was also picked up for Rs 20 lakh. Bhui has scored 1,497 runs in 62 T20s at an average of 32.54.
Medium-pacer Rasikh Dar was picked up for Rs 20 lakh while all-rounder Sumit Kumar and opener Swastik Chikara were acquired for Rs 1 crore and Rs 20 lakh respectively. All three are uncapped players.
The acquisitions on December 19 completed the DC squad for the IPL 2024.
DC Head Coach Ricky Ponting told media, “We filled all the gaps that we wanted to and I thought that we did a great job at the auction table. I am excited about working with Harry Brook. He’s one of the most talented international cricketers at the moment. He was our number one priority in this year’s auction and we managed to acquire him at a great figure.”
DC Director of Cricket Sourav Ganguly said to media, “I am excited about Shai Hope. He is a good player of spin and he has a phenomenal record in 50-over cricket. And our bowling department is looking good with Jhye Richardson in the attack.”
Delhi Capitals squad
INDIANS: Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Khaleel Ahmed, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Mukesh Kumar, Yash Dhull, Vicky Ostwal, Abishek Porel, Ricky Bhui, Kumar Kushagra, Rasikh Dar, Sumit Kumar and Swastik Chikara.
OVERSEAS: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Harry Brook, Tristan Stubbs, Jhye Richardson and Shai Hope.