West Indies players Alzarri Joseph, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, and Shai Hope emerged as the only players sold from the region in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction held on Tuesday in Dubai.
The 27-year-old Joseph, a six-foot, foot-inch Antiguan fast bowler, was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for US$1.3 million.
A fierce bidding war unfolded among Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), and RCB for Joseph’s services, with RCB ultimately sealing the deal at an exceptional price. The surprising outcome contrasts with Joseph’s initial base price of US$120,000.
Joseph now holds the distinction of being the second most expensive West Indian in an IPL auction, trailing Nicholas Pooran, who secured a US$1.9-million deal in 2022. His formidable T20 credentials, boasting 121 wickets in 101 matches and remarkable figures of 6-12, make him a prized asset.
Powell, West Indies Twenty20 captain, also secured a lucrative deal, becoming the first player sold in the auction. Rajasthan Royals acquired the 30-year-old Jamaican hard-hitting batsman for US$892,000 after a competitive bidding process with Kolkata Knight Riders. Powell, who has played 66 T20 Internationals and 51 One-Day Internationals, will represent his third franchise in as many seasons after stints with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023 and Capitals last year. He joins West Indies teammate Shimron Hetmyer who had been retained by the franchise.
Delhi Capitals signed 30-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman Hope, the West Indies One-Day International for US$90,000 in his debut IPL deal, while 25-year-old batsman Rutherford will join Kolkata Knight Riders for US$181,000.
Notably, leading West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, who featured for Rajasthan Royals last season, went unsold in this auction, along with left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and all-rounders Keemo Paul and Odean Smith.
Meanwhile, Mitchell Starc became the most expensive signing in the history of the IPL, topping the record figure paid for Australia teammate Pat Cummins a few hours earlier.
Starc, a left-arm pacer who was last in the IPL eight years ago, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for nearly $3 million.
That beat the fee paid by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Cummins, who went for nearly $2.5 million.
Before this auction, the record signing was England bowler Sam Curran after he joined Punjab Kings for $2.23 million last year.
The IPL is scheduled to commence in March next year.