IPL Mega Auction: Pat Cummins ‘absolutely pumped’ to don KKR colours again

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Australian pace bowling stalwart and Test skipper Pat Cummins said he was “absolutely pumped” to be back with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after the IPL franchise made a winning bid for the 28-year-old cricketer during the Mega Auction here on Saturday.

KKR brought back Cummins, shaking off a battle from new franchises Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans to buy him back for INR 7.25 crores after previously buying him for INR 15.5 crores in the IPL 2020 auctions.

Cummins was expected to command a much higher price in the bidding war as he was one of the marquee players in the auction, and the 2021 runners-up would be happy to get him back for a much lower price.

Cummins’ presence will add to the wealth of bowling as well as leadership experience, as the quick recently guided Australia to a 4-0 win in the Ashes, and with great maturity handled the crisis in the wake of Justin Langer quitting his post as head coach. The tall pacer will now lead the team for the three-Test series against Pakistan next month before he arrives for the IPL 2022.

Cummins also gives KKR more options in captaincy as they also have Shreyas Iyer in the squad after the Indian cricketer was bought for a whopping INR 12.25 crore on Saturday.

KKR posted a video on social media where Cummins can be seen thanking the franchise CEO Venky Mysore and coach Brendon McCullum.

“Absolutely pumped to be back with Kolkata. Thanks to Venky (Mysore), Baz (Brendon McCullum), SRK (Shah Rukh Khan), the whole team. Just absolutely pumped, so excited… want to come around quick enough. Thanks for making me part of the galaxy of knights in the upcoming season,” Cummins said in his 17-second video.

Cummins played seven matches in IPL 2021, taking nine wickets and scoring 93 runs. He has taken a total of 38 wickets in 37 IPL matches since 2014 when he made his debut in the lucrative league. He has so far played five IPL seasons — 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020 and 2021.

Meanwhile a report in cricket.com.au said on Saturday that, Cricket Australia (CA) “is understood to have told IPL franchises that players involved in the white-ball series against Pakistan will not be released to travel until April 6, while players that make the Sheffield Shield final will not be able to travel until April 5”.

Players wanting to participate in the IPL need a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from CA to compete, which dictates their availability. These are not usually withheld unless there is national duty, or a medical/fitness reason, the report said.

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