Sam Curran’s stunning emergence for England this summer has attracted a raft of interest among the Indian Premier League’s wealthy teams and the question now is whether the Surrey all-rounder puts himself forward for next year’s auction.
A number of franchises – including Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore – are understood to have flagged up the 20-year-old as a possible target for 2019, in keeping with the recent trend that match-winning performances against India count for more. All-rounders are viewed as precious commodities, among the IPL teams too.
Despite his age, Curran has shown himself to be a steely batsman in high pressure situations – his two half-centuries this series have rescued England at Edgbaston and the Ageas Bowl – while the left-arm angle of his swing bowling offers a significant point of difference.
Much will depend on Curran’s ambitions and whether he is able to break into England’s World Cup plans in the meantime. Next year’s IPL season will run from 29 March to 19 May but players in Eoin Morgan’s one-day side will be due home at the end of April before an early-summer white-ball series against Pakistan starting on 5 May. England already have a left-arm all-rounder in David Willey and Morgan has proved himself to be a loyal leader during his three-year tenure as captain. But the team management are impressed by Curran’s temperament, having given him a debut against Australia at Old Trafford in June, and he could yet be a late bolter for the squad.
Surrey have not previously stood in the way of their players joining the IPL – Tom Curran, his elder brother, turned out for Kolkata Knightriders this year – and the club privately concede any deal will likely depend on whether England want to protect one of their most promising young assets or give him exposure to the IPL’s high-intensity cricket.