IPL 2023 Auction: Who is Harry Brook and why did he get such a huge sum?
When Kane Williamson was sold for his base price of Rs 2 crore in the recently concluded IPL mini-auction in Kochi, Kerala, it was outrageous to expect that the next player, an unknown batter would fetch more than 10 times the modern-day legend.
But Harry Brook surprised all. Rs 13.25 crore was paid for a 23-year-old who has zero experience of IPL and is just a batter with no other skills. Just pure batsmanship.
So, who exactly is Harry Brook?
Brook, born and raised in Keighley Yorkshire, England is an audacious hitter of the cricket ball. He has a great hand-eye co-ordination and a natural talent to hit big shots. The stylish batter was also the captain of the England U-19 team for the 2018 World Cup in which the team finished seventh.
Brook rose up the ranks in Yorkshire after hitting a century in one of the great games at Chelmsford. After being all out for 50 in their first innings, Yorkshire, which had Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Cheteshwar Pujara and Garry Balance in the side, were guided by then 19-year-old Brook who hit a scintillating 124 in the second innings. The side from North England went on to win that match beating the reigning County champions Essex.
Brook had a phenomenal T20 Blast in 2021, hitting 486 runs in 13 matches at an astonishing average of 69.42 and a strike rate of 149. This season got him the much needed recognition and he made his move towards the overseas leagues.
Brook featured in seven Big Bash League (Australia’s domestic T20 league) 2021-22 games for Hobart Hurricanes, but didn’t have much success. Pakistan Super League 2022, however, gave him the much-needed boost. He mustered 264 runs in 8 innings at an average of 52.80. During this league, he also scored his maiden and only T20 hundred.
In The Hundred (England’s domestic 100-ball competition), Brook made brilliant start with fantastic 62. This led to him earning praises from England’s now Test skipper and then leader of the Northern Superchargers (Brook’s team in The Hundred), Ben Stokes.
Brook’s national call-up
After great seasons in The Hundred and T20 Blast in 2021, Brook was called in for national duties as England toured West Indies in early 2022. He could play only a single game on that tour. Then India toured England and Brook featured in all three matches and became a regular in the T20 side. He alos got a chance to play red ball cricket for England, debuting in a series against South Africa in Septemeber 2022.
Recognition at international level
However, it was England’s Pakistan tour that Harry Brook truly found his place in the national side. He scored important runs in all matches (7) except for the sixth one. He could not get to continue the same form in the T20 World Cup though.
Once again, he got the help of Pakistan. This time around it was the longest format. Just before the IPL Auction, Brook scored a century each in Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi as England clean-swept the hosts to earn a historic 3-0 series win.
Why was Brook paid so heavily by SRH?
The Tests against Pakistan were advantageous for Brook given the timing of the auctions. The Yorkshire man’s ability to play spin aggressively made him an obvious favourite for Indian conditions. Added to that was his performances in the PSL which meant that he could be the ideal number three or even an opener for Sunrisers.
After the departure of David Warner and Kane Williamson on sour notes from Hyderabad, the franchise needed a top-order batter who could also be groomed for future leadership roles. Given that Brook has captained the U-19 national team made him the ideal candidate to fulfil all demands of the Orange brigade and that’s why such heavy bidding for him.
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