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Starc opts out of IPL auction, Smith sets base price at Rs 2 crore

Australia pace bowler Mitchell Starc has not registered for the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction scheduled to be held on February 18 in Chennai while teammate Steve Smith, who was released by his former IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals has entered the auction with a base price of Rs 2 crore.

Starc, who has played just two seasons of the T20 tournament in 2014 and 2015, had a lacklustre summer against India in the Test series picking 11 wickets across four Tests at an average of 40.72. He was the only bowler in Australia camp to leak over three runs an over in the series against India. There was speculation that he would command a big price at this year’s auction.

But according to a report in ESPNCricinfo.com, the left-arm pace bowler has opted out. He may have done it to manage workload and prepare for the T20 World Cup in India and Ashes at home this year.

Apart from Smith, England’s Moeen Ali, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Aussie Glenn Maxwell to have registered in the Rs 2 crore bracket. Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who returned to cricket last month after serving a ban for failing to report a corrupt approach, also registered himself in the same bracket.

Former India pace bowler S Sreesanth, who also returned to cricket after serving out a ban, too has registered for the auction at a base price of Rs 75 lakh.

England batsman Tom Banton, who was with Kolkata Knight Riders last year, but did not get to play much has not registered as he wants to focus on playing the County championship.

As many as 1,097 players have registered for the 2021 IPL players’ auction.

Among these, 814 are Indians, and 743 of them are uncapped players who have never played in the IPL while there are 50 uncapped players who have played in the league before, said the Indian cricket board said in a statement.

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